Northrop Grumman will manufacture a new all-electronic bomb fuse for the US Navy to provide a uniform solution for general purpose bombs.

The US Navy has awarded the first production order to Northrop Grumman for the FMU-139D/B bomb fuse.

The company stated that the fuse is suitable for general purpose bombs used by the US and its allied countries.

In January, the navy decided to authorise the firm to go ahead with full-rate production of the FMU-139D/B.

The FMU-139D/B is designed to provide improved performance and reliability and reduced cost.

The all-electronic bomb fuse is a replacement for FMU-139C/B, FMU-152 and most FMU-143 bomb fuses.

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The company said that there is a key difference between the manufacturing of the three legacy bomb fuses and the FMU-139D/B.

The manufacturing of the FMU-139C/B, FMU-152, and FMU-143 bomb fuses involves mechanisms for each fuse, whereas the manufacturing of FMU-139D/B uses electronics.

Northrop Grumman missile products vice-president Pat Nolan said: “Increased flexibility and agility will enable the warfighter to cover a broader set of missions.

“The FMU-139D/B’s all-electronic nature improves affordability. It is easier to manufacture, assemble and test than other legacy fuses.”

The FMU-139D/B can also be used as a multi-purpose fuse solution.

The company expects the value of the production orders to reach more than $400m over the next four years.

Northrop Grumman noted that the FMU-139D/B fuses will be used by both the US Navy and US Air Force.

The Navy Program Office will be responsible for the management of the programme requirements.

The company will produce the FMU-139D/B bomb fuse at its Allegany Ballistics Laboratory (ABL) facility in Rocket Center, West Virginia.