Raytheon has concluded the risk reduction programme for the GBU-53/B small-diameter bomb II that will compete for the US Air Force’s SDB II engineering manufacturing development contract.

Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice president Harry Schulte said datalink testing met all key performance milestones and demonstrated the requirements needed to achieve technology readiness level 6.

All the other subsystems also achieved level 6 readiness ensuring that the GBU-53/B will be ready for engineering manufacturing development if Raytheon wins the contract.

During the test, the Link 16 and UHF modes of the datalink were evaluated to verify the weapon’s capability to receive in-flight target updates and transmit weapon in-flight track messages.

The updates were used in the tests to direct the GBU-53/B’s form-factored seeker to target locations on the ground.

The test was conducted in late August 2009.