Boeing has submitted a proposal to the US Air Force for the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the small-diameter bomb (SDB) II, after completing the risk reduction programme.

The SDB weapon system is a next-generation low-cost and low collateral damage precision strike weapon that can be carried internally or externally by an aircraft.

The SDB II expands SDB I’s capabilities by adding an advanced multimode seeker and a two-way data link.

The seeker enables the weapon to detect, classify, prioritise and attack high-value moving targets while retaining SDB I’s ability to engage stationary targets.

The data link provides in-flight communication with the weapon.

Boeing weapons programmes vice-president Debra Rub said that whether the situation calls for stand-off strike capability or close air support on high-value targets, Boeing’s SDB II is the right weapon.

Three successful development test flights to demonstrate performance and verify the design and feasibility for manufacture along with over 50 captive-carry flight tests of the seeker, data link and guidance system on a test bed aircraft were completed in the previous phase.

If selected for the contract, the firm will provide the air vehicle and system integration, while teammate Lockheed will supply the seeker and system supplier Harris Corp will provide the data link.