USA Re-opening $1.7B GBU-39 SDB Phase II Procurement
On April 25, 2005, DID covered the new GBU-39 250 lb. Small Diameter Bomb (SDB), a GPS-suided glide bomb whose design and pinpoint accuracy gave it the same penetration capabilities as a 2000 lb. BLU-109, while enabling US aircraft to carry eight times as many of them. The SDB is considered to be a key Air Force transformational program, with an overall value that could be as high as $2.7 billion.
DID also noted its connection to the Boeing procurement scandals, however, and the decision facing the Air Force re: whether to maintain its award of Phase II production to Boeing and Northrop-Grumman, or to re-open the competition. The USAF has now made some clear moves in preparation for re-opening the competition. Lockheed, whose protests in the wake of the Darlene Druyun scandal led to the contract’s re-opening, is expected to compete against Boeing again. More details can be found over at DefenceTalk.com.