Boeing [NYSE: BA] has awarded contracts to Harris Corp. and Rockwell Collins to participate in a supplier competition for the Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) Increment II data link.
Following the competition period, Boeing will select one competitor as the data link supplier for its SDB Increment II offering.
On April 18, Boeing and Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] won one of two U.S. Air Force contracts for the competitive risk reduction phase of the SDB Increment II program, which will provide the U.S. Air Force and Navy an all-weather capability against moving targets. Boeing, as prime contractor and system integrator, will supply the air vehicle and the data link system. Lockheed Martin, a principal supplier, will provide the multi-mode seeker.
"We are building on the products of the Air Force's Weapon Data Link Network program and will transition the best solution to an operational capability for the U.S. Department of Defense," said Boeing Weapons Vice President Virginia Barnes. "The data link will be part of a new generation of software-configurable radios that meet current and future warfighter needs."
The data link enables the Increment II weapon to share data with either the launching aircraft or ground elements to assist in guiding the weapon toward moving targets.
The Boeing SDB weapon system family, to which the all-weather, 250-pound SDB II will be added, quadruples the weapon load on every U.S. fighter and bomber aircraft. The SDB Increment I system, with its GBU-39 weapon, will be deployed on the Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle later this year.
The U.S. Air Force is expected to award a sole source contract for the SDB II system design and development phase by late 2009.
Harris Corp. and Rockwell Collins are headquartered in Melbourne, Fla., and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, respectively.
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 $30.8 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; a foremost developer of advanced concepts and technologies; 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 sustainment solutions and launch services.