Raytheon Company has completed Lot 1 production of the Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II), a new weapon that will give fighter pilots the ability to destroy moving targets at any time and in all-weather conditions.
The U.S. Air Force (USAF) has also contracted with Raytheon to produce Lots 2 and 3.
The SDB II bomb is a gliding precision weapon with a one-of-a-kind tri-mode seeker that uses millimeter wave radar, uncooled imaging infrared guidance and semi-active laser guidance to find its targets. The weapon’s two-way datalink allows it to receive in-flight target updates. Once fielded, SDB II will enable pilots to engage more targets at ranges greater than 40 miles using fewer aircraft.
“SDB II does much more than hit GPS coordinates; it detects, classifies and engages targets,” said Mike Jarrett, Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice president. “When it is integrated on the F-35A, this weapon will also help the world’s most advanced fighter jet reach entirely new targets.”
Raytheon is producing SDB II bombs at the company’s fully-automated manufacturing facility in Tucson, Arizona, and the program is nearing completion of developmental testing.
GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb II
GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II) is an American air-launched, precision-guided glide bomb.
Development was started in 2006 for a 250 pounds (113 kg) class bomb that can identify and strike mobile targets from standoff distances in all weather conditions. The weapon can fly more than 45 miles to strike mobile targets.
Its first flight was announced on May 1, 2009.
The U.S. Air Force (USAF) and U.S. Navy have begun SDB II bomb integration activities on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) and the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft. Raytheon will complete integration on the F-15E Strike Eagle in 2017.
A contract to start low-rate production was awarded to Raytheon in June 2015.