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Pentagon Gives Nod to Sell ‘Bunker Buster’ Smart Bombs to Turkey

The US Defence establishment in Pentagon has approved a deal to sell $700 million worth of smart bombs to Turkey inder the Foreign Military Sales for use against Kurd rebels of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq.

“The deal came timely, as we are deeply engaged in asymmetrical warfare and need smart bombs,” a Turkish military official told Defense News.

Recently, Turkey has intensified attacks on the Kurdish militants after they declared the two-year long ceasefire null and void in July prompting renewed rebellion against the US-backed Iraq regime. Turkey, which has shot down in November a Russian jet, is at standoff with Russia in Syria ever since.

The US move to provide undisclosed bunker busters BLU-109 bombs, first of its kind to Turkey, may poise Ankara in direct confrontation with Moscow.

The defence supplies will continue until 2020 and the bombds with 550 pounds of tritonal, which is a mix of TNT and aluminum powder, have been deployed in the U.S. inventory since 1985 and used in its Iraq and Afghanistan offensives early this century.

The bomb can delay its explosion until it passes through the ground, allowing it to fully destroy the cave or bunker it is aimed at. Now that the US is selling these bombs to its allies, it could thwart other Arab nations from moving to Russia for such sophisticted bombs.

The BLU-109/B (I-2000) is an improved 2,000-pound-class bomb designed as a penetrator without a forward fuze well and its skin is much harder than that of the standard MK-84 bomb being a single-piece, forged warhead casing of one-inch, high-grade steel.

It has a 550-pound tritonal high-explosive blast warhead and is mated with a laser-guided bomb that was used in Desert Storm.


Courtesy: FAS.org

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