Boeing [NYSE: BA] and industry teammate Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] successfully completed the first flight of the Small Diameter Bomb Increment II (SDB II) weapon system May 22 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
The Boeing SDB weapon system family, which includes the all-weather, moving target SDB II weapon, quadruples the number of weapons an aircraft can carry, enabling aircrews to attack more targets on each sortie.
After an F-15E Strike Eagle launched the SDB II, the munition opened its control fins and wings and successfully completed its planned mission. The flight test demonstrated compatibility with the SDB BRU-61 pneumatic carriage system, the SDB logistics system and the low-risk air vehicle and autopilot design derived from the operational SDB I system. The flight followed successful ground and captive flight tests also performed at Eglin.
Boeing and Lockheed Martin won one of two U.S. Air Force contracts for the competitive risk reduction phase of the SDB II program in April 2006. The Air Force is expected to award a sole source contract for the SDB II system design and development phase by late 2009.
As the prime contractor, Boeing supplies the air vehicle -- a derivative of SDB I -- as well as the network data link system. Lockheed Martin, the principal supplier, is responsible for the multi-mode seeker system.
"As we expected, our SDB II air vehicle and flight control system performance is excellent for the moving target version of SDB," said Dan Jaspering, director of Direct Attack Weapons at Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. "This allows us to focus on systems integration of Lockheed Martin's multi-mode seeker and our network data link system for the remainder of the reduction phase of the competition. Our winning SDB II solution integrates Lockheed Martin's seeker technology with Boeing's extremely capable SDB system to provide a formidable weapon for the U.S. military."
"This team will provide the warfighter with a capability that has been needed for some time -- the ability to strike moving targets in all weather from standoff range," 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, resulting in the best possible SDB II system."
The SDB I system is in full-rate production and has been in operational use on the F-15E Strike Eagle since October 2006.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.