Air Force asks Raytheon to provide another batch of small diameter bomb smart munitions
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla., 13 Sept. 2016. Smart weapons experts at the Raytheon Co. will provide the U.S. military with a new batch of the GBU-39 small-diameter bomb (SDB) smart munitions under terms of a $49.2 million contract announced last week.
The SDB is a munition small enough to be dropped from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and other small military aircraft, and is able to hit moving targets with an advanced precision guided munition seeker that blends millimeter-wave radar, uncooled imaging infrared sensors, and semi-active laser.
Officials of the U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., are asking the Raytheon Missile Systems segment in Tucson, Ariz., to provide Small Diameter Bomb Increment II Lot 2 production, which includes weapons and containers.
SDB II is a joint Air Force and Navy program to provide an air-launched, standoff precision-strike weapon to defeat moving and fixed targets in during the day, at night, and in bad weather.
The SDB initially will be carried on the F-15E Strike Eagle fighter-bomber, as well as the F-35B and F-35C Joint Strike Fighter. Experts say the 250-pound, 6-foot-long, 7.5-inch-diameter smart munition also can be carried on the latest version of the Predator UAV.
Raytheon testing has verified that the advanced munition's form factored tri-mode seeker can switch between its millimeter wave radar, imaging infrared and semi-active laser guidance systems. The GBU/53-B seeker proved its reliability during flight testing when it flew 26 missions in 21 days without a hardware failure, company officials say.
Raytheon began deliveries of the latest version of the Small Diameter Bomb in 2013, after winning a $450.8 million contract for SDB engineering and manufacturing development in 2010.
The Small Diameter Bomb is designed to fit inside concealed weapons bays in aircraft such as the F-35, the B-2 stealth bomber, and the developmental stealthy Boeing F-15 Silent Eagle. The small size of the munition helps reduce the radar signatures of the aircraft that carry it, as well as keep collateral damage to a minimum when it attacks is targets.
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