The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) have successfully conducted initial testing of the Block I variant of the Dynetics GBU-69/B Small Glide Munition (SGM) incorporating a two-way datalink.
According to Dynetics, the flight tests, conducted in February achieved all test objectives including sending via the datalink updated target coordinates from the launch platform to the SGM, redirecting the munition to a secondary target located more than a mile from the initial target location and transmitting an in-flight command to inhibit munition arming.
The munition also transmitted critical data such as its position, velocity, flight mode, and arming status back to the launch platform. Acknowledgement and verification of commands sent to and from the munition were verified via the Battle Management System on board the launch platform as well as a ground control station. Additionally, the SGM laser seeker was used for terminal guidance yielding a CE90 strike on the updated target coordinate.
Dynetics initiated work with Raytheon Integrated Communications Systems to integrate theX-Net radio in 2017. Due to the highly collaborative design effort between the two companies, the SGM was able to accommodate the new hardware component within existing size, weight and power (SWaP) allocations for the munition electronics. A Dynetics-designed deployable mono-pole antenna, stowed under the wing prior to launch, is the only external modification made to the Block I datalink variant.
The RaytheonX-Net networked radio was designed to provide In-Flight Target Updates (IFTUs) in order to improve weapon performance in dynamic targeting environments and to receive telemetry data for both weapon performance and post-mission analysis. The X-Net is a new small form factor, software-defined, radio that meets the challenging SwaP requirements of small munitions. It is MIL-STD-6016 compatible and supports the SGM’s flyout range of over 20 nm.
The incorporation of a two-way datalink will greatly enhance the capabilities of the SGM allowing the weapon to be part of a network consisting of other airborne platforms and tactical air controllers. In the future, networked communications will facilitate collaborative strikes and lead to new tactics expanding SGM capabilities and effectiveness.
GBU-69/B Small Glide Munition (SGM)
GBU-69/B Small Glide Munition (SGM) is an enhanced capability, Stand-Off Precision Guided Munition (SOPGM), developed by Dynetics, that can be carried on AC-130 gunships or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).
Initial development of the Small Glide Munition began in 2013 in conjunction with a Collaborative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Program Executive Office for Fixed Wing Aircraft (PEO-Fixed Wing).
The SGM became operational in 2017. The munition was tested, qualified and fielded in less than two years.
The munition offers an all azimuth launch capability, while its deployable wing provides significant stand-off range resulting in a large weapon footprint and a corresponding increase in armed over-watch area. Integrated into a Common Launch Tube, the SGM is compatible with the Battle Management System as well as other weapon interfaces.
The semi-active laser guided munition uses lattice control fins for aerodynamic stability and control, similar to Dynetics-developed designs used on the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) munition and the GBU-57A/B Massive Ordinance Penetrator (MOP).
Dynetics has increased SGM production capacity in response to a 1000-unit order from USSOCOM in 2018. Other near term planned activities include integration of SGM on Special Operation Forces (SOF) unmanned aircraft and demonstration of a new composite low-collateral damage warhead. Both are scheduled to occur in 2019.
The SGM is managed out of the Dynetics’ Missile and Aviation Systems Division. The division is the Corporation’s lead for research, development, prototyping, testing and production of advanced munitions and unmanned systems.