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Boeing awarded $21.6M for GBU-57 ‘bunker buster’ bombs

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Boeing was awarded a $21.6 million contract for sustainment of U.S. Air Force’s GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator, known as a “bunker buster” bomb, designed for use with the B-2 Spirit stealth fighter.

This extends the ordering period for the MOP by an additional four years and increases the order ceiling price to cover the extension, the Defense Department announced Friday.

Through July 18, 2023, the work will be performed at Boeing’s plant in St. Louis.

The total cumulative face value of the contract is $26.4 million, with no obligated to the company at time of award.

Following the completion of the ordnance’s fourth upgrade to increase its ability to reach “deeply buried targets,” the U.S. Air Force in February 2018 awarded Boeing with a $20.9 million contract to provide the U.S. Air Force with an unspecified number of GBU-57 bombs.

The Air Force Research Laboratory initially awarded a $30 million MOP contract to Boeing in 2004.

The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, which is manufactured by Northrop Grumman, is the only USAF aircraft capable to operationally drop the 30,000 pound bomb. The plane can carry two bombs for use on “extremely hard, or fortified, deeply buried targets,” according to Boeing.

The bombs are 20.5 feet long and 31.5 inches in diameter. They carry 5,300 pounds of explosive material and can can penetrate 200 feet.

The predecessor, the Bomb Live Unit 109, had one-tenth the explosive power of its predecessor, according to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, which funds and managed the program.

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Trump’s controversial transgender troop ban takes effect

Washington (AFP) April 12, 2019

US President Donald Trump’s controversial ban on transgender Americans in the military comes into force on Friday following a protracted legal battle.

Trump’s administration has insisted that there is “too great a risk to military effectiveness and lethality” to allow transgender people to serve – reversing a policy enacted under his predecessor Barack Obama.

The Pentagon says the restrictions are not a blanket ban, but they would bar many if not most people who identify as transgender from enl … read more

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