U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate and Boeing last week successfully flight-tested two Small Smart Bomb Range Extension, or SSBREX, weapons at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
Part of a cooperative miniature munitions demonstration program, the tests were conducted with a combination of Air Force and Boeing funding. The weapons were launched from an Air Armament Center F-16 aircraft operating out of Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., at an altitude of 25,000 feet.
"I am very proud of the performance of the Air Force-Boeing SSBREX team that resulted in two successful launches in one day," said Robert Zbylut, Boeing program manager. "These tests validated the SSBREX concept of a winged small bomb."
The SSBREX utilizes the same type of guidance system as the Joint Direct Attack Munition. It uses a 250 pound-class warhead that has demonstrated penetration of more than 6 feet of reinforced concrete. Utilizing a smaller weapon improves aircraft load-out and mission effectiveness.
"The general mission objectives were to demonstrate performance of the successful Miniature Munition Technology weapon with lattice fins and the Alenia Marconi Systems DiamondBack wing," said Lt. John Mehrman, U.S. Air Force program manager. "The weapons performed well and impacted their targets."
The SSBREX program has demonstrated the technical concepts that have lead to the Small Diameter Bomb program in which Boeing is one of two competitors.