Raytheon’s small diameter bomb II (SDB II) has successfully acquired and destroyed several stationary targets during a recent series of flight tests.
Undertaken in collaboration with the US Air Force (USAF), the test flights enable the SDB II programme to move from engineering, manufacturing and development phase to low rate initial production (LRIP).
The GBU-53/B SDB II is an air-launched precision-strike weapon designed to destroy armoured targets even in adverse weather conditions, from a range of more than 40nm.
Raytheon Small Diameter Bomb II programme director John O’Brien said the tests demonstrate the tri-mode seeker’s capability to acquire, track, engage and destroy both stationary and moving targets in adverse weather.
"Upcoming live fire tests will prove the end-to-end capability of SDB II and will demonstrate the program’s readiness to progress to System Verification Review and Milestone C, clearing the way for low rate initial production," O’Brien said.
Raytheon Missile Systems president Dr Taylor Lawrence said: "Acquiring stationary targets with the same seeker that can identify and track moving targets demonstrates the dynamic capability this new weapon brings to the warfighter."
The tri-mode seeker operates in millimeter-wave radar, uncooled imaging infrared and semiactive laser modes, enabling the bomb to peer through storm clouds or battlefield dust and debris.
Designed to be installed on F-15E, F-35B and F-35C joint strike fighters (JSF), the bomb also has compatibility with the USAF’s F-35A, F/A-22 and F-16C/D, and the US Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter aircraft.