UNITED STATES :- MBDA Inc. to produce parts for Small Diameter Bomb ::
The Boeing Company and MBDA Missile Systems announced y a new contract that calls for 21,000 Diamond Back Wing assemblies for the U.S. Air Force’s precision-guided GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb Increment I or GBU-39 SDB-I
The announcement follows several contracts awarded to Boeing by the Air Force, including an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity foreign military sales contract worth $700 million back in Sept. 2016 for the production of GBU-39 SDB-I.
The SDB-I is ideal for American jet fighters when compared to the 2,000-pound Mark-84 general purpose bomb because a pilot can carry a pack of four SDBs in place of a single Mark-84.
Boeing’s SDB-I is a next-generation strike weapon that can be deployed from both internal and external carriage systems and comes with an Advanced Anti-Jam Global Positioning System-aided Inertial Navigation System that guides the weapon system towards the coordinates of a stationary target.
MBDA’s Diamond Back Wing Assembly is paramount in the design of Boeing’s SDB-I as the tandem wing design improves the maneuverability and extends its range to over 60 nautical miles, increasing pilot safety and expanding operational reach, they company says.
Boeing has a two-year $261 million contract deal with the U.S. Air Force for additional SDB-I’s that are expected to be produced by December 2018. About half of the ultimate contract value, roughly $129 million, has already been obligated by the Pentagon.
Two months ago, Raytheon was awarded a $450 million contract for engineering changes and development of the Small Diameter Bomb II, an update to Boeing’s SDB-I for the U.S. Air Force.
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.
The bomb can strike targets more than 45 miles away and has a small size, so more of them can be carried by fewer aircraft.
The SDB-II is being integrated for use 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.