Raytheon completes testing of USAF's Small Diameter Bomb II
Raytheon has conducted high-speed wind tunnel testing of the US Air Force’s (USAF) Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II).
Conducted in April and May, the testing used the scale models of the weapon and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
The company tested the lift, drag and side forces on the SDB II model at different angles of attack, with plans to evaluate the data gathered in the next few months.
With the completion of wind-tunnel testing, the weapon now moves closer to operational testing, keeping it on track for F-35 deployment in 2022, Raytheon stated.
The SDB II is capable of defeating moving targets in all weather conditions at ranges greater than 40 miles. It also allows fighter pilots to attack the same number of targets using fewer aircraft.
Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice-president Mike Jarrett said: "Enemies use adverse weather conditions to travel because it helps them avoid detection.
"Whether they are in the rain, obscured by smoke or on the move, SDB II will find them."
The SDB II’s tri-mode seeker can use millimetre wave radar, uncooled imaging infrared guidance and semi-active laser guidance to find its targets and the weapon's two-way datalink allows pilots to make in-flight target updates.
Weighing 208lb, SDB II is claimed to be lighter than other glide bombs, allowing the F-35 to carry eight internally.
In addition to the F-35, Raytheon is working to complete integration of the bomb on the F-15E Strike Eagle.
The USAF and the US Navy have also begun SDB II integration activities on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.