Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] have signed an exclusive teaming agreement to compete for the Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) Increment II program.
Under the agreement, Boeing is the prime contractor supplying the air vehicle and data link, and Lockheed Martin is the principal supplier, providing the multi-mode seeker that's needed to meet the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy requirement of hitting moving targets.
"This agreement forms the best team possible to provide the SDB Increment II capability," says Mark McGraw, Boeing Weapons Enterprise Capability Center vice president. "It combines Lockheed Martin's multi-mode seeker technology with Boeing's extremely successful and capable SDB system to provide a best-value, all-weather moving target solution and a formidable weapon for the U.S. military."
As the prime contractor, Boeing will have responsibility for the overall weapon system. Lockheed Martin has total sub-system responsibility for the seeker system.
"Our teaming agreement with Boeing ensures the warfighter will receive the best possible weapon system," said Randy Bigum, vice president of Strike Weapons at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "We will enhance the capability of Boeing's proven SDB I system with the addition of our advanced multi-mode seeker. The combination creates a new system that provides the Air Force and Navy with a capability that has been needed for some time -- the ability to strike moving targets from standoff range."
Lockheed Martin's multi-mode seeker enables all-weather attack and classification of moving targets, a critical requirement of SDB II. Extensive work and testing have been done on the seeker in the Joint Common Missile and Surveilling Miniature Attack Cruise Missile (SMACM) programs, making it a low-risk approach. The precision provided by the seeker will enable aircrews to attack more targets with fewer sorties.
The U.S. Air Force is expected to issue its formal SDB Increment II Request for Proposal in late October. In the meantime, Boeing and Lockheed will continue work on their proposal and continue putting together the best team possible to win the SDB Increment II competition. The risk reduction contract award to begin the competition is expected next spring.