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Raytheon Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II) Completes Live Fire Testing

Completes Milestone C, heads for LRIP

The U.S. Air Force and Raytheon successfully completed two Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II) all-up round live fire test flights, demonstrating SDB II’s ability to “detect, track, and destroy moving targets,” according to a Raytheon Company release.

Launched from up to 40 miles from the target, the weapon can be re-targeted in flight by being updated through a secure datalink, according to the company.

The final flight tests required before the program can move on to Milestone C and the beginning of low rate initial production (LRIP) used live warheads and took place at White Sands Missile Test Range. The SDB IIs dropped “completed the end-to-end tactical configuration that will be delivered to the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy,” the release stated.

SDB II Strike Eagle

An F-15E Strike Eagle can carry up to 28 SDB IIs, in seven groups of four bombs per pylon. Raytheon image

SDB II employs a tri-mode seeker combining millimeter-wave radar, uncooled imaging infrared (IIR), and semi-active laser homing capability. Launched from up to 40 miles from the target, the weapon can be re-targeted in flight by being updated through a secure datalink, according to the company.

F-16 with SDB IIs

An F-16D takes off with four SDB IIs on a single pylon during integration testing. Raytheon image

“These tests showcased the weapon’s new multi-effects warhead that provides SDB II with the capability to destroy targets while reducing collateral damage,” said John O’Brien, Raytheon SDB II program director, in the release. “Working closely with our U.S. Air Force customer, Raytheon is delivering this game-changing solution that fills a critical capability gap for U.S. warfighters.”

SDB II testing will continue even after the program enters LRIP, according to Raytheon.