The team includes contributors from LLNL, United States Air Force and Aerojet Rocketdyne Inc. As part of this joint effort, LLNL leveraged its long-term investments in computational codes, computing and manufacturing infrastructure and engineering expertise to develop the munition in record time.
The first BLU-129/B was delivered to the theater in Afghanistan in 2011. Until the introduction of the BLU-129/B, there was no munition capable of being safely deployed near friendly soldiers and non-combatants.
This weapon represents a new class of innovative munitions, integrating disruptive technologies that significantly reduce collateral damage. The ability to couple sophisticated guidance systems with weapons that have a more accurate lethal footprint has been profound.
By making the effect of the weapon commensurate with the accuracy, the BLU-129/B design team provided the military with a highly effective munition for fighting in close quarters. This unique combination of enhanced effectiveness and reduced collateral damage is being used by the warfighter to neutralize threats to our troops on the ground and to prosecute adversaries stationed near damage-sensitive areas, allowing combatant commanders to target areas previously considered off limits.
The award ceremony included introductory remarks by Maj. Gen. John Macdonald (ret.). Macdonald released an urgent operational need for the low-collateral weapon when he was the deputy commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan, and served as the nominator for this award.
"The BLU-129/B project is a prime example of what can be achieved when multidisciplinary teams from several institutions in the government and private industry work toward a common goal. It serves as a blueprint for future research and technology transfer of engineered munitions," Macdonald said in the nomination. "The design architecture of the BLU-129/B made an old Mk82 weapon system new and rapidly gave the warfighter a new and needed capability."
The award is named in honor of former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry (1994-1997) and recognizes exceptional contributions to precision strike systems in the private or public sector by an individual or team. The recipient's contributions must lead to the strengthening of national security by a direct application of precision strike capabilities to a Department of Defense system or enhance the industrial technology base for application to precision strike technology.