Air Force taps Boeing to build additional 6,000 GBU-39 small-diameter bomb (SDB) smart munitions
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Smart munitions experts at the Boeing Co. will provide the U.S. military with 6,000 additional GBU-39 small-diameter bomb (SDB) smart weapons under terms of a new order announced Tuesday.
Officials of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., announced a $193.6 million contract modification to the Boeing Defense, Space & Security segment in St. Louis for additional munitions in SDB increment 1 lots 12 to 14 production.
The new order involves foreign military sales of the SDB to Saudi Arabia, Japan, Israel, the Netherlands, South Korea, and Singapore.
The SDB is a munition small enough to launch 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.
The first increment of the SDB has a GPS-aided inertial navigation system to attack stationary targets such as fuel depots and bunkers. The second variant, the Raytheon GBU-53 SDB II, includes a thermal seeker and radar with automatic target recognition for attacking mobile targets such as tanks, vehicles, and mobile command posts during the day, at night, and in bad weather.
The GBU-39 SDB can go aboard the F-15E Strike Eagle, Panavia Tornado, JAS-39 Gripen and AC-130W gunship. In the future it also may go aboard the F-16, F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning II, A-10 Thunderbolt II, B-1 Lancer, B-2 Spirit, B-52 Stratofortress, and AC-130J. The General Atomics Predator C unmanned aircraft eventually also may carry this weapon.
This order is modification of $700 million contract awarded to Boeing in September 2016 for SDB production, including weapons and carriage systems.
The Small Diameter Bomb is designed to fit inside concealed aircraft weapons bays. 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 the munition hits its targets.
On this order Boeing will do the work in St. Louis, and should be finished by December 2020. For more information contact Boeing Defense, Space, & Security online at www.boeing.com/defense, or the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at www.wpafb.af.mil/aflcmc.
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