Dutch Buying Enhanced Paveway Kits
Raytheon recently announced a competitive contract win in The Netherlands for 200 of their Enhanced Paveway II dual-guidance GPS/laser-guided bomb kits. The contract is a direct commercial sale rather than a Foreign Military Sale, and the kits will fit 500 pound bombs, turning them into precision-guided GBU-49s. Cost was not disclosed.
The GBU-49 has been used extensively in Iraq, and will not be blocked by haze, sandstorms, and other weather conditions. Adding it to the Dutch arsenal will give their F-16s potent options for close air support in Afghanistan. Dual-guidance precision bombs are becoming more popular; France and Britain have recently taken similar steps.