Raytheon won a $79.4 million deal for Small Diameter Bomb Increment II (SDB II)
lot integration and test. This contract
effort will deliver all-up round (AUR) test vehicles, perform AUR-level assembly, checkout, testing and systems integration testing; and prepare for production cut-in and fielding for the multiple engineering changes needed, including National Security Agency (NSA) cryptographic modernization, Global Positioning System (GPS) military code, mitigation of part obsolescence, and design changes evolving from production and/or operations. 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. Work will take place in Arizona. Estimated completion is April 1, 2023.
The 250 pound GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb gives American fighters the ability to carry more high-precision GPS-guided glide bombs, without sacrificing punching power against fortified targets. The initial award to Boeing was controversial, and the Darlene Druyun corruption scandal ultimately forced a re-compete of the Increment II development program. Whereas the initial GBU-39 SDB-I offered GPS-guided accuracy in a small and streamlined package, the goal of the GBU-53 SDB-II competition was a bomb that could hit moving targets in any weather, using a combination of guidance modes.
For the SDB-II competition, Boeing found itself allied with Lockheed Martin, its key opponent for the initial SDB-I contract. Its main competitor this time was Raytheon, whose SDB-II bid team found itself sharing its tri-mode seeker technology with a separate Boeing team, as they compete together for the tri-service JAGM missile award against… Lockheed Martin. So, is Raytheon’s win of the SDB-II competition also good news for its main competitor? It’s certainly good news for Raytheon, who wins a program that could be worth over $5 billion.