Italy’s Oto Melara, USA’s Boeing to Co-produce SDB I for Italian Air Force
Italian defense company Oto Melara and Boeing Defense, Space & Security in St. Louis, MO, agreed to co-produce the Small Diameter Bomb Increment I (SDB I) weapon system (GBU-39 SDB) for the Italian Air Force.
SDB I [pdf] is a 250-pound precision strike weapon with a GPS-aided inertial guidance system. It incorporates a steel case and penetrating blast-fragmentation warhead, as well as deployable wings for extended range.
Under the terms of the $34 million contract, Boeing will provide SDB I mechanical and electrical components and test equipment to Oto Melara for production of 500 tactical weapons (GBU-39 SDBs), 50 four-place weapon carriages (BRU-61/A), and associated support equipment…
In addition, Boeing will provide technical assistance in establishing a production facility in Italy. Oto Melara will provide various components and complete final weapon assembly and testing.
The GBU-39 SDB has a range of up to 37 miles and an accuracy rating of just 16-26 feet CEP. The size and accuracy of SDBs allow aircraft to carry more munitions to more targets, and strike them more effectively with less collateral damage.
The SDB I co-production project follows previous joint collaborations between Oto Melara and Boeing, including production of about 1,000 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) tail kits for the Italian Air Force.