Raytheon praises SDB II warhead

Nov. 17, 2011 at 1:10 PM
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TUCSON, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Raytheon is touting its Small Diameter Bomb II warhead for surpassing requirements during a series of recent tests.

The tests were the first demonstration of the warhead manufactured on a fully automated production line.

"SDB II is affordable because we designed it to be low cost, producible, and to meet government specifications," said Harry Schulte, vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems' Air Warfare Systems. "Exceeding those requirements at no extra cost is good for the taxpayer and warfighter.

"We are determined to keep SDB II on cost and ahead of schedule because the warfighter needs, but doesn't have, an air-launched weapon that can engage moving targets in adverse weather."

The Small Diameter Bomb II is capable of engaging fixed or moving targets in adverse weather conditions from a range of greater than 46 miles. Its integrated tri-mode seeker fuses millimeter-wave radar, uncooled imaging infrared and semi-active laser sensors on a single gimbal.

Raytheon said after building test warheads on the fully automated production line, engineers put the warheads through an accelerated conditioning regime equivalent to 500 flight hours and 20 years of aging in a bunker. It then underwent live detonation testing.

"Using production-ready processes, the SDB II warhead is meeting or exceeding all requirements barely a year after contract award," said Tom White, Raytheon's SDB II program director. "The Raytheon team is dedicated to giving all stakeholders the best value for their money, and most importantly, giving our warfighters a critical capability they don't have today."

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