TUCSON, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force selected Raytheon Company's GBU-53/B for the Small Diameter Bomb increment II program, the company said.
The contract is worth $450 for engineering development. Delivery of the weapon is expected to begin in 2013 with a required-assets-available date in late 2014.
"Raytheon proved we can provide the warfighter a low-risk, affordable solution that meets their needs," said Raytheon Missile Systems President Taylor W. Lawrence. "A versatile weapon that is simple to employ, Raytheon's GBU-53/B can be integrated on all required aircraft and fully meets the load-out requirements for all versions of the fifth generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter's internal weapon bays."
Small Diameter Bomb increment II program announced last year is for the development, testing and fielding of a 250-pound class miniature munition that can identify, classify, track and attack mobile/relocatable targets in all weather conditions.
Raytheon's GBU-53/B incorporates an improved seeker that features three modes of operation: millimeter-wave radar, uncooled imaging infrared and semi-active laser, the company said.