For the first time, on December 13 and 15, two "live"; Boeing [NYSE: BA] Small Diameter Bombs (SDB), were launched for the first time by the U.S. Air Force at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., scoring direct hits on each target.
"My primary goal is to deliver the SDB capability to the warfighter in 2006 as promised," said Col. Jim McClendon, U. S. Air Force Miniature Munitions Group commander at Eglin Air Force Base. "This was a big milestone for our program."
The SDBs were successfully launched from an F-15E aircraft flying at 15,000 feet on December 13 and December 15. One target was a scoring board and the other was a Russian rocket launcher where the SDB sensor detonated the warhead just before impact.
These launches mark the 15th and 16th guided missions for the SDB during the highly successful development program. The launches tested the complete SDB system including logistics, mission planning, pneumatic four-weapon carriage and the enhanced accuracy system currently deployed in the United States.
Development of the SDB Increment II GBU-40 weapon variant for moving targets is planned to start in fiscal year 2006 as the Increment I system goes into production.
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 $27 billion business. It provides network-centric system solutions to its global military, government, and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense and Department of Homeland Security; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in launch services.