Raytheon has completed developmental testing on the Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II), a new capability to be offered for the US Air Force’s (USAF) fighter jets.
During the test, aircraft pilots dropped a total of 44 SDB II weapons and evaluated how they function in all modes of operation.
The bombs successfully destroyed manoeuvring targets in adverse weather conditions, in addition to demonstrating third-party control through a datalink.
The SDB IIs also successfully detected the correct target among decoys and proved compatibility with the F-15E Strike Eagle multirole fighter jet.
Raytheon’s SDB II bomb is a gliding precision weapon featuring a tri-mode seeker that uses millimetre wave radar, uncooled imaging infrared guidance and semi-active laser guidance to identify and locate its targets.
In addition, the two-way datalink of the weapon enables it to receive in-flight target updates.
The bomb provides pilots with the ability to destroy moving targets on the battlefield, and its seeker helps detect, classify, track and destroy targets, even at ranges greater than 40 miles using fewer aircraft.
Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice-president Mike Jarrett said: “We call SDB II a game-changer because the weapon doesn’t just hit GPS coordinates; it finds and engages targets.
“SDB II can eliminate a wider range of targets with fewer aircraft, reducing the pilot’s time in harm’s way.”
The weapon will complete government confidence testing this year.
The company has also started work on the Lot II production of the SDB II bombs after completing delivery of the first lot last year.
Raytheon has also commenced early SDB II integration work on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft.