Back in 2009, following his anointment as President, Barack Obama secretly approved the sales of game-changing “bunker-buster” bombs to Israel. His predecessor George W. Bush had refused the Israelis' initial request in 2005, and frozen most U.S.-Israeli defence cooperation agreements “out of concern that Israel was transferring advanced military technology to China”.
However the 2009 transaction, which still remains an official secret despite officials leaking the story to Newsweek magazine earlier this year, must have made Iranian authorities lose many nights' sleep fearing that their aggressive neighbour would target them under the guise of going after underground nuclear reactors. Yet more recent developments suggest that it may well be the Israelis who will be worrying about the 5,000-pound bombs exploding too early, possibly over their own heads.
This week the U.S. Department of Justice revealed that a key supplier of components for the bunker-busters called Kaman Precision Products Inc., in Orlando, Florida, would be required to pay the federal government $4.75 million following allegations that it had submitted false claims for non-conforming fuzes sold to the U.S. Army for use in the bombs.
Prosecuting Kaman under the False Claims Act, the DoJ has filed for breach of contract and alleged that the defence contractor “knowingly substituted a component in four lots of fuzes that made them unsafe for use in military operations”. Specifically, the U.S.' allegations related to FMU-143 fuzes for use in hard target penetration warheads, said the DoJ in an angry statement.