Next Generation Area Attack Weapon (NGAAW) is a blast-fragmentation area weapon designed as an alternative to cluster bomb munitions
banned by DOD mandate beyond 2018.
DOD ceased cluster munition procurement in 2007, and implemented a less-than-one-percent failure rate mandate on area weapons to prevent civilian casualties from unexploded ordnance.
USAF awarded the $60 million NGAAW procurement contract for a compliant family of weapons in 2019. NGAAW is being developed in two increments, the 500-lb Improved Lethality Warhead (ILW) antipersonnel/materiel weapon based on the BLU-134B, followed by the more potent 2,000-lb high-fragmentation warhead.
An F-16 conducted initial live developmental test drops of the 2,000-lb class BLU-136 at the Nellis range in July 2020. The 10-weapon series proved the effectiveness of the weapon against light vehicles, structures, and personnel in excess of a 225 ft radius.
The 2,000-lb weapon is externally similar to the standard JDAM when fitted with the precision-guided tail kit requiring little adaptation to existing platforms for operational use. The NGAAW family of weapons will primarily be aimed at replacing the remaining CBU-105/107 stockpile, with potential to replace additional area weapons.
Contractors: Major Tool & Machine, Faxon Machining.
First Flight: 2020.
Active Variants: •NGAAW Increment I. Optionally GPS/INS-guided Improved Lethality Warhead area weapon based on the 500-lb class BLU-134/B. •NGAAW Increment II. Optionally GPS/INS-guided 2,000-lb area weapon, based on the BLU-136/B.
Dimensions: Length approx. 12 ft (2,000-lb class with tail kit), diameter approx. 14.5 in.; length approx. 7.8 ft, diameter approx. 10.7 in. (500-lb class with tail kit).
Performance: Range up to 15 miles (based on JDAM guidance/ BLU-136 mass and form factor), 225+ ft effective radius (based on initial testing).
Warhead: 2,000 lb high-fragmentation area-attack warhead with heightof-burst sensor (BLU-136/B); 500-lb fragmentation area-attack warhead (BLU-134/B).