SDB II scores direct hit
Raytheon's GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II) programme has successfully engaged and hit a moving target during a flight test at the White Sands Missile Range, it was announced on 19 July.
Currently in the engineering and manufacturing development, SDB II is designed to engage moving targets in adverse weather and through battlefield obscurants.
During the July 17 test, the crew of a US Air Force F-15E fighter staging out of Holloman Air Force Base, released the GBU-53/B, which then acquired, tracked and guided to a moving target using its tri-mode seeker, scoring a direct hit, according to a company statement.
'SDB II is the first in the next generation of smart weapons that uses multi- mode seekers and fully networked enabled data links to engage moving targets in bad weather or battlefield obscurants in high threat environments,' said Harry Schulte, vice president of air warfare systems for Raytheon Missile Systems.
'Raytheon is committed to this program's success because SDB II will give the warfighter a mission-flexible weapon capable of defeating threats such as swarming boats, mobile air defense systems or armored targets.'
SDB II was validated by the Department of Defense's Joint Requirements Oversight Council as a weapon that fills a critical capability gap for the military. In addition to its adverse weather, moving-target capability, SDB II can hit targets from stand-off ranges. It has a powerful warhead capable of destroying armored targets, yet keeps collateral damage to a minimum through a small explosive footprint, the company said.
'SDB II's capabilities include the ability for the weapon to be employed in three primary attack modes, each with a subset mode, for a total of six engagement modes. A dual band, two-way weapon data link for in-flight target updates and status reporting allows post-launch control of the weapon by the launching aircraft, a Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC), or a third party,' the statement said.
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