The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded the first full-rate production (FRP) contract to Orbital ATK for the development of the advanced FMU-167/B hard target void sensing fuse (HTVSF).

Valued at $23m, the current deal is a follow-on FRP order to the low-rate initial production contract awarded to the company in 2016.

The all-electronic HTVSF is an advanced technology, intelligent, cockpit programmable fuse that has the capability to destroy hard and deeply buried targets.

It also offers multiple delay arming and detonation times, in addition to a void-sensing function, which enables precision activation of the fuse.

Orbital ATK Defence Systems Group Missile Products division vice-president and general manager Pat Nolan said: “As threats continue to develop stronger and deeper buried facilities, they are developing greater challenges for conventional munitions.

“With the completion of this award, we can begin building what we believe is a key capability for our armed forces and allies.”

“With the completion of this award, we can begin building what we believe is a key capability for our armed forces and allies.”

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By GlobalData

Since last year, the FMU-167/B fuse has undergone rigorous tests and evaluations with successful demonstrations of enhanced survivability, reliability and accuracy of detonation in penetrating weapons.

The HTVSF features advanced sensors, robust algorithms and hardened electronics technology that provide the combatant with enhanced performance ability against tactical targets.

It also offers a void sensing function and time-delay arming, while it can delay detonation of 2,000lb and 5,000lb air-delivered penetrating weapons used by the US Department of Defense (DoD).