Raytheon Company, the U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Air Force have begun Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II) integration activities on the F-35, F/A-18E/F, and F-16 aircrafts.
Preliminary SDB II fit checks and pit tests have been completed on the F-35, supporting the Joint Strike Fighter’s ability to carry eight SDB IIs internally.
Following a successful fit check on the F/A-18E/F, initial planning has also started for SDB II integration on the Super Hornet. A series of F-16 test flights utilizing SDB II Instrumented Measurement Vehicles (IMV) were also recently completed. Each of these efforts represents the start of integration activities for those respective platforms.
SDB II integration on the F-15E has been under way since 2010, with several successful flight tests demonstrating the weapon’s ability to hit both moving and stationary targets.
“Beginning the integration efforts on different aircraft is an important first step in bringing SDB II’s capabilities to other front line fighters,” said John O’Brien, Raytheon SDB II program director. “With the start of low-rate initial production right around the corner, SDB II will soon be in the hands of our warfighters and making a difference on the battlefield.”
Raytheon and the U.S. Air Force are completing a series of flight tests that will move the SDB II program closer to Milestone C, the gateway to begin low-rate production.
SDB II can strike targets from a range of more than 40 nautical miles, with a dynamic warhead that can destroy both soft and armored targets, while keeping collateral damage to a minimum through a small explosive footprint. The highly accurate SDB II offers warfighters the flexibility to change targets through a secure datalink that passes in-flight updates to the weapon.
“SDB II integration on multiple platforms will allow more warfighters to take advantage of the tri-mode seeker’s game-changing capability to acquire, track, engage and destroy both stationary and moving targets in adverse weather,” said Mike Jarrett, Raytheon Air Warfare Systems Vice President. “Upcoming flight tests and live fire shots will further demonstrate the end-to-end capability of SDB II.”
Press Release, July 14, 2014; Image: Raytheon