Raytheon finishes first lot production of new small diameter bomb

By James LaPorta  |  Dec. 13, 2017 at 2:40 PM
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Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Raytheon announced Wednesday that it has completed Lot 1 production of the Small Diameter Bomb-II, an update to Boeing's SDB-I, for the U.S. Armed Forces.

The company said it is producing SDB-II bombs at its facilities in Tucson, Ariz., and that the program is nearing completion of developmental testing.

"SDB II does much more than hit GPS coordinates; it detects, classifies and engages targets," Mike Jarrett, Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice president, said in a press release.

The SDB-II allows pilots to destroy moving enemy targets regardless of time of operations or weather. The SDB-II is capable of three modes -- a millimeter wave radar that detects and tracks targets through all weather, imaging infrared for improved target discrimination, and a semi-active laser allowing it to track lasers in the air or on the ground.

SDB-II can strike targets at more than 45 miles away and is preferred over the Mark-84, a 2,000-pound bomb because U.S. aircraft platforms can carry up to four small diameter bombs versus one Mark-84. The SDB-II also can provide in-flight updates before impact.

The SDB-II is scheduled to be integrated on the F-35 and F/A-18E/F by the U.S. Air Force and Navy, and Raytheon is expected to have it prepared for integration with the F-15E by the end of the year.

"When it is integrated on the F-35A, this weapon will also help the world's most advanced fighter jet reach entirely new targets," Jarrett said.

The U.S. Air Force also has contracted Raytheon to produce Lots 2 and 3 for the SDB-II program.

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