Textron wins $641 million deal to build Saudi cluster bombs

WASHINGTON Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:46pm EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Textron Defense Systems, a unit of Textron Inc (TXT.N), has won a U.S. Air Force contract valued at $641 million to build 1,300 cluster bombs for Saudi Arabia, the U.S. Defense Department and Textron said on Tuesday.

The contract, which runs through the end of 2015, formalizes the sale of Textron's CBU-105 cluster bombers to Saudi Arabia, a deal that was first notified to Congress in December 2010.

The Pentagon's daily digest of major arms sales said $410 million in foreign military sales funds were being obligated for the Saudi work at this time.

Textron said the CBU-105, also known as a Sensor Fuzed Weapon, meets the Pentagon's policy on cluster munitions, which requires that they must not result in more than 1 percent unexploded ordnance, or duds.

Company spokesman Stephen Greene said the Sensor Fuzed Weapon has a greater than 99.6 percent reliability rate, which means that it may yield a dud less than 0.5 percent of the time. He said the U.S. Air Force had also verified that if a dud were to reach the ground, it would be inert and safe to handle in under two minutes.

The Air Force had no immediate comment on details of the contract announcement.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)

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