General Dynamics to Support Forces in Iraq, Disarm Cluster Bombs

Thursday was a busy day at the U.S. Department of Defense, as the Pentagon announced no fewer than 27 separate contract awards -- quite possibly a record, or at least a recent one. The contracts totaled $766 million in combined value, and one defense contractor, General Dynamics , won two of them.

The larger of the two awards, going to the firm's General Dynamics Land Systems division, is a $56.5 million contract modification issued through the U.S. Army Contracting Command,Tank and Automotive (TACOM). These funds will pay for continued logistics and base life support services in Iraq, but no deadline for completion was stated in the announcement.

General Dynamics' Ordnance and Tactical Systems division won the other, smaller award. Also a contract "modification," this one provides $11.7 million in funding for the "demilitarization and disposal" of 49,387 rounds of Improved Conventional Munitions (ICM ) and 5,192 Cluster Bomb Units.

ICM may include anything from 155mm howitzer rounds to anti-tank mines to smoke rounds. The Cluster Bomb disposal provision of this contract is the more interesting one, though. Just last week, the same Pentagon that is paying General Dynamics to demilitarize and dispose of these cluster bombs ordered another defense contractor, Textron to manufacture 1,300 new ones.


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