The GBU-40 small-diameter bomb (SDB) II for the US Air Force has completed the risk reduction programme with a flight test in which it engaged a target.
The SDB is a next-generation low-cost and low-collateral-damage precision strike weapon for internal and external carriage.
During the test, the guided test vehicle (GTV) equipped with form-factored components, including a Harris data link, Lockheed tri-mode seeker and modified SDB Increment I (GBU-39) assemblies was dropped from an F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft at Eglin Air Force Base.
The seeker successfully performed all objective functions including search, detect, track and classify using the in-flight updates provided through a tactical radio communications system.
The risk reduction phase will enable a Boeing and Lockheed team to compete for the US Air Force’s SDB II engineering and manufacturing development contract to be awarded next year.
As a prime contractor, Boeing will provide the air vehicle and system integration, while Lockheed will provide the sensor and seeker for the programme.
Previous flight tests included an extensive captive-carry flight test programme for the SDB II seeker, data link and guidance subsystems aboard its King Air test bed aircraft.