Raytheon has successfully completed three programme reviews of the Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II) prior to the mid-May Milestone C decision.

The SDB II team were supported by the US Air Force (USAF). They completed a functional configuration audit, a production readiness review, and a system verification review (SVR).

Raytheon Missile Systems SDB II programme director Jim Sweetman said: "Raytheon has fully tested SDB II and verified that we meet or exceed the requirements necessary for a Lot 1 production decision laid out in the specifications provided by the US Government.

"Every success moves us one step closer to delivering this game-changing capability to our US warfighters."

"Every success moves Raytheon one step closer to delivering this game-changing capability to our US warfighters."

The functional configuration audit was arried out at Raytheon Missile Systems’ facility in Tucson, US. It assessed the bomb’s functionality, while verifying its compliance with the approved design through rigorous testing and documentation.

The production readiness review successfully confirmed the production readiness of the current design of SDB II, while the SVR was a product and process assessment to determine that bomb is ready for low-rate initial production (LRIP).

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Following a successful Milestone C decision, the SDB II programme will enter production, followed by a focused government confidence testing period in the coming months, and operational testing in 2016.

SDB II is manufactured at the company’s automated tri-mode seeker factory in US. It is an air-launched precision-strike weapon designed to destroy armoured targets from stand-off ranges in adverse weather conditions.

The bomb’s seeker operates in three modes, including millimetre-wave radar, un-cooled imaging infrared and a semi-active laser.

The bomb is developed under a five-year engineering and manufacturing development phase contract awarded by the USAF in August 2010. It can peer through storm clouds or battlefield dust and debris for engagement with fixed or moving targets.

Having validated SDB II as a weapon that address a critical warfighter need, the US Department of Defense has invested more than $700m in the SDB II programme.