Dec. 8 (UPI) -- The Boeing Co. has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Air Force for GBU-39 SDB, or laser small diameter bombs.
The deal, announced Thursday by the Department of Defense, is valued at more than $10.5 million under the terms of a firm-fixed-price contract, meaning additional costs that may be accumulated by Boeing will not be reimbursed by the Pentagon.
The small diameter bomb is preferred by the U.S. Air Force and other military services over the bulky 2,000-pound Mark-84 general purpose bomb because it allows an aircraft to carry up to four small diameter bombs versus one Mark-84.
Boeing's laser small diameter bomb is considered a "next-generation strike weapon" that can be deployed from both internal and external carriage systems on an aircraft.
The bomb itself is equipped with an Advanced Anti-Jam Global Positioning System-aided Inertial Navigation System that directs the weapon towards the position of a given target.
Work on the contract will be performed in St. Louis, and is expected to be completed by March 2019, according to the Pentagon.
More than $10.5 million from fiscal year 2018 procurement funds will be payed to Boeing at the time of the award contract.