Up to $84M for 5 Years of MK437 Multi Option Fuze Navy (MOFN)
On August 15, 2012 the Office of the Product Director for Joint Products (PDJP) awarded a single Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Firm Fixed Price (FFP) contract to Alliant Techsystems (ATK) to manufacture MK437 Multi Option Fuze for Navy (MOFN). Contract W15QKN12D0089, administered by the Army Contracting Command – New Jersey (ACC-NJ), spans FY12-16 split in five 1-year ordering period for a maximal potential value of $84.1M. MOFN fuzes are used in MK 186 HE-MOF rounds fired by 5″ (127mm) Mk45-mounted guns for anti-surface warfare (ASuW) and land attacks, while airborne threats are handled with the MK419 Multi-Function Fuze.
MOFN is the result of a Product Improvement Program (PIP) to produce a navalized version of the US Army Multi-Option Fuze for Artillery (MOFA) used in various artillery systems including Paladin. Design work for these fuzes started about 10 years ago [PDF] to insure compatibility and safety with Navy guns. MK 437 has retained various functional modes from the original M782 MOFA, to trigger detonation based on surface proximity, on point, or in a delayed fashion, among uses.
Though the Navy wanted to stay close to the Army design, over the years modifications went beyond [PDF] what was originally expected. The Navy wanted greater timing accuracy and ended up [PDF] rewriting the whole fuze software to meet their safety requirements. In the wake of the attack on USS Cole the Navy wanted to improve ship self-defense [PDF] against small surface ships, and that created specific safety requirements [PDF] for close engagement.
Tests over water were then made in 2006-2007 and work has been done at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren to develop a Universal Fuze Monitoring Test System (UFMTS – PDF) that encompasses MK419, MK437 and MK432 fuzes. MK 437 production started last year, and with this multi-year contract it looks like the Navy is setting things up to finally ramp up MOFN use. NAVSEA’s current fuze acquisition strategy and roadmap is described in this presentation [PDF] from May 2012. Meanwhile, an inter-service Joint Fuze Technology Program started during FY10 but so far their actual budget has not met [PDF] planned spending. And the outlook for munition competitions in FY13 as outlined [PDF] by the Project Director Joint Products looks rather meager.