The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] conducted the second successful test flight of its Small Diameter Bomb I (SDB I) Focused Lethality Munition (FLM) Sept. 14 at White Sands Missile Range, N. M., demonstrating the weapon's enhanced blast, ultra-low collateral damage warhead and pinpoint accuracy.
The flight, along with an autopilot performance flight on July 11, is part of the first phase of a $27 million U.S. Air Force Joint Capability Technology Demonstration contract.
"The FLM version of SDB replaces the normal SDB steel warhead with a carbon fiber composite warhead and enhanced blast explosive to eliminate warhead fragments and increase blast power," said Dan Jaspering, director, Boeing Direct Attack Weapons. "The resulting small, but lethal, blast area will allow warfighters to hit targets in sensitive areas while minimizing the risk to nearby personnel or structures."
The SDB I weapon system began combat operations in October 2006 on the F-15E Strike Eagle. The 6-foot-long, 250-pound class, all-weather SDB I weapon has a standoff range of more than 40 nautical miles, and with its SDB carriage, quadruples the number of weapons each aircraft can carry. Boeing will manufacture more than 24,000 SDB I weapons and 2,000 carriages for the Air Force, with deliveries planned beyond 2015.
Boeing builds the GBU-39 weapon at its lean manufacturing facility in St. Charles, Mo. Sargent Fletcher, Inc., of El Monte, Calif., builds the BRU-61 carriages.