The Boeing (NYSE: BA) Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) continued successful flight-testing this week with a release from an
F-15E at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
"This was the most complete test of our entry in the SDB competition, demonstrating all of the elements of the system," said Dan Jaspering, Boeing SDB program manager. "This test included a weapon with a live fuze, mission planning, our support equipment, and the four-place carriage system for the aircraft. The tests verify that we will have a low-risk transition of the Boeing SDB from this phase of the program into operational testing and production."
Boeing received a $47 million contract from the Air Force in September 2001 as one of two competitors for the Component Advanced Development 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.
"With this flight we have completed, on schedule, our tenth planned flight test," said Jaspering. "However, we realize risk is the number one criteria in the source selection and has a direct affect on delivering a capability to the warfighter in 2006. We intend to use the remaining time before down-select to continue testing and further substantiate the Boeing design."
The objective of the Air Force's SDB program is to provide weapons, carriage system, and support infrastructure to improve sortie effectiveness and to reduce collateral damage in target area. A proprietary guidance system developed by Boeing enables the extreme accuracy of the SDB. This accuracy improvement can also be used by JDAM and other systems.
Boeing is offering a low-risk spiral development of the
Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) and successful laboratory programs of Miniature Munition Technology (MMT), Small Smart Bomb (SSB), and Small Smart Bomb -- Range Extension (SSBREX). The Boeing SDB has a 250-pound class warhead with a range considerably greater than 40 nautical miles. SDB uses a high performance folding wing system to provide mission flexibility.
This robust design makes the Boeing SDB an excellent platform for growth to the moving target SDB.
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.