Army, DCIS investigation lead to $4.75 million settlement by defense contractor over defective bomb fuzes

by Ben Vernia | December 21st, 2011

On December 21, the Department of Justice announced that a Florida-based contractor will pay nearly $5 million over allegations that it provided the U.S. Army with defective bomb fuzes. According to DOJ’s press release:

Kaman Precision Products Inc., an Orlando, Fla., defense contractor, will pay the United States $4.75 million to resolve allegations that the company submitted false claims for non-conforming fuzes sold to the U.S. Army for use in “bunkerbuster” bombs, the Justice Department announced today. In addition, the settlement requires Kaman to adhere to a compliance program and to dismiss administrative claims that it had made against the Army after the termination of its contract.

The lawsuit, filed in the Middle District of Florida by the United States under the False Claims Act for breach of contract, alleged that the company knowingly substituted a component in four lots of fuzes that made them unsafe for use in military operations. Specifically, the United States’ allegations relate to FMU-143 fuzes for use in hard target penetration warheads, colloquially referred to as “bunkerbuster” bombs.

The government alleged that Kaman knowingly substituted non-conforming bellows motors for the specified motors in four lots of fuzes supplied to the military, and that the non-conforming parts could cause the fuzes to fire prematurely, creating a hazard for military personnel and causing misfires of the warheads. The military discovered the parts substitution and quarantined the defective fuzes.

Today’s settlement resolved those claims, as well as other administrative claims that the Army brought after it terminated Kaman’s contract for the company’s violation of its contractual obligations.

The government sued Kaman in November 2009.

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