Boeing [NYSE: BA] has awarded a contract to Harris Corporation [NYSE: HRS] to provide the data link system for the Small Diameter Bomb Increment II (SDB II) precision-guided weapon. Boeing and Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] won one of two U.S. Air Force contracts for the competitive risk-reduction phase of the SDB II program in April 2006.
SDB II will enable the U.S. Air Force and Navy to attack moving targets in all weather conditions. The two-way network data link enables SDB II to receive updates on target location during flight and provide mission data feedback. Once in the target area, the SDB II uses its Lockheed Martin multi-mode seeker for the final phase of the attack.
The contract award to Harris, which includes Viasat Inc. [NASDAQ: VSAT] as a teammate, comes after an industry-wide competition that included extensive hardware and software demonstrations.
"We conducted this rigorous competition to ensure that the data link supplier selected would fully achieve the SDB II requirements," said Dan Jaspering, director of Direct Attack Weapons at Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. "We are pleased to have Harris on our SDB II team and are confident this data link will meet or exceed our customer's expectations."
The Boeing SDB II is a planned evolution of the combat-proven SDB I GBU-39 weapon, which is in full-rate production and has been in operational use in Southwest Asia since October 2006. 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.