The Boeing (NYSE: BA) Small Diameter Bomb, or SDB, successfully separated from a U.S. Air Force F-15E and flew a planned mission today at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. This is the first SDB launch in the competitive SDB Component Advanced Development, or CAD, program competition.
Boeing received a $47 million contract from the Air Force in September 2001 as one of two competitors for the CAD phase of the SDB program. Air Force officials will select a single company to produce small diameter bombs and carriage systems in the fall of 2003.
"The SDB will increase strike aircraft mission effectiveness while reducing potential collateral damage," said Dan Jaspering, Boeing program manager. "The Boeing candidate is a 250-pound-class-weapon with a range greater than 40 nautical miles. It was very exciting to see how well the weapon performed in flight. This flight demonstrated our flight characteristics and confirms our SBD design's capability to achieve the performance our war-fighters need.
"Boeing is offering the U.S. Air Force an accurate, low-risk, highly effective evolution from the Boeing Joint Direct Attack Munition, or JDAM, and successful technology programs such as Miniature Munition Technology, and Small Smart Bomb -- Range Extension. During these laboratory programs, the Boeing prototype SDB was carried on F-16 and F-111aircraft, accomplished 27 separation tests, and 10 guided flights including five with the MBDA DiamondBack wing.
A prototype of the Boeing SDB smart carriage system allows four weapons to be carried on one aircraft pylon. Extensive testing includes supersonic separations from an internal bomb bay. The Boeing warhead also has been tested in arena tests, sled tests and against representative targets. The Boeing small diameter bomb's guidance and control is based on the combat proven JDAM, the most tested smart weapon in aviation history.
The F-15E is the threshold aircraft for SDB and integration on the F/A-22 is a priority. The Air Force also plans to integrate the weapon on the Joint Strike Fighter and Unmanned Combat Aircraft.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $25 billion business. It provides systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; surface and air launched weapons, the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer, a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in launch services.