TUCSON, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- Raytheon's GBU-53/B small diameter bomb has been chosen by the U.S. Air Force in a $450 million deal.
The air-launched standoff munition features an improved seeker with three modes of operation: millimeter-wave radar, uncooled imaging infrared and semi-active laser.
"Raytheon proved we can provide the warfighter a low-risk, affordable solution that meets their needs," said Taylor W. Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president. "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."
The GBU-53/B SDB-II is 7 inches in diameter around the seeker, with a clamshell protective door that comes off when the bomb is dropped. The bomb, which weighs 200 pounds, tapers to about 6 inches in diameter beyond the pop-out wings.
Range is as much as 46 miles when launched at altitude.
Deliveries are to begin in 2013.