ST. LOUIS, Oct. 12, 2009 -- The Boeing [NYSE: BA] GBU-40 Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) II team successfully concluded a 42-month risk reduction program on Sept. 29 with a flight test in which the weapon impacted its target.
"Our design, development and testing have resulted in a highly capable, robust system that not only meets the needs of today's warfighters, but also has the capacity to adapt to the unknowns of tomorrow's threats and operational conditions," said Debra Rub, Weapons Programs vice president. "Bottom line, our weapon system has proven itself, and when this capability is available to the warfighter it will help transform the battlefield."
In the latest test, the Guided Test Vehicle (GTV), dropped from an F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., was equipped with form-factored (production-ready) components, including a Harris data link, Lockheed Martin tri-mode seeker, and modified SDB Increment I (GBU-39) assemblies. The weapon received in-flight target updates using a tactical radio communications system, which were processed by the seeker. Using the updates, the seeker successfully performed all objective functions, including search, detect, track and classify. The weapon fuze detonated upon impact with the intended target.
The weapon performed as planned and achieved all test goals. The team collected full telemetry data on the weapon's subsystems, providing confirmation of system performance and validation of the weapon's design and producibility.
"This successful test caps a stellar risk reduction phase for the program," said Dan Jaspering, director of Direct Attack Programs for Boeing. "It's exciting to have a proven, mature system as the U.S. Air Force moves toward awarding an Engineering and Manufacturing Development contract next year.
"Boeing's successful track record with SDB I and the risk reduction program for SDB II pave the way for a truly low-risk path through validation, operational testing and scheduled fielding," Jaspering added.
Previous flight tests were conducted in May and August 2007. Boeing also conducted an extensive captive-carry flight test program for the SDB II seeker, data link and guidance subsystems aboard its King Air test bed aircraft. The tests exercised weapon components and software under a variety of tactically relevant conditions. In June, the program completed a Boeing internal Critical Design Review with Air Force participation.
Boeing is teamed with Lockheed Martin in the SDB II program competition, and as the prime contractor will provide the air vehicle and system integration. Lockheed Martin will supply the sensor/seeker.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.
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