Raytheon’s SDB II successfully completes flight test

23 July 2012 (Last Updated July 23rd, 2012 03:45)

Raytheon's GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II) programme, currently under development for the US Air Force (USAF), has successfully demonstrated its capabilities during testing at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, US.

Raytheon’s GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II) programme, currently under development for the US Air Force (USAF), has successfully demonstrated its capabilities during testing at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, US.

Following its launch from the USAF’s F-15E fighter jet, the bomb employed its tri-mode seeker to acquire, track and successfully destroy a moving target, during the testing, conducted on 17 July 2012.

Raytheon missile systems air warfare systems vice president Harry Schulte said that SDB II will provide the soldier with a mission-flexible weapon that is capable of destroying swarming boats, mobile air defence systems and armoured targets.

”SDB II is the first in the next generation of smart weapons that uses multi-mode seekers and fully networked enabled data links to engage moving targets in bad weather or battlefield obscurants in high-threat environments,” Schulte added.

Raytheon’s SDB II programme director John O’Brien said: "SDB II is designed and built from the ground up to deliver to the war fighter an affordable and efficiently produced weapon that brings new levels of capability yet remains easy to employ and maintain."

The bomb is currently under the engineering and manufacturing development phase, as part of a $450m contract secured by the company in August 2010, and is expected to be delivered in 2013.

Equipped with an improved tri-mode seeker including millimetre-wave radar, uncooled imaging infrared and semi active laser and a highly lethal warhead, the air-launched precision-strike weapon is capable of destroying armoured targets from stand-off ranges, with minimum collateral damage.