GA wins $17.5 mn USAF contract to integrate GBU-39B SDB on MQ-9 Reaper

World Defense & Security Industry News - General Atomics
GA wins $17.5 mn USAF contract to integrate GBU-39B SDB on MQ-9 Reaper
The US-based drones maker General Atomics has been awarded a $17.5 million contract for integration of GBU-39B Small Diameter Bomb onto the MQ-9 Reaper UAV, the US Department of Defense announced on November 27, 2017.
GA wins 17 5 mn USAF contract to integrate GBU 39B SDB on MQ 9 Reaper 640 001A 163rd Reconnaissance Wing MQ‐9 Reaper flying in the airspace over the Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, Calif., July 30, 2014
(Credit: Air National Guard photo/Senior Airman Michael Quiboloy)
"General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., Poway, California, has been awarded a $17,461,954 contract for integration of the Guided Bomb Unit-39B/B, also known as laser small diameter bomb onto the MQ-9 Reaper via universal armament interface on a dual carriage system. Work will be performed in Poway, California, with an expected completion date of Nov. 27, 2021," the US DoD said.

The Medium Altitude Unmanned Aerial System Division, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity, the US DoD added.

Once integrated, the GBU-39B will bring new offensive strike ability to the Reaper drone, a few month after the first release of a GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munition from this platform.

"For the past 10 years, skilled MQ-9 aircraft aircrew have been employing AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and GBU-12 laser-guided bombs, but the JDAM brings new global positioning system capabilities," a statement from the Air Force News Service then said.

The GBU-39B Small Diameter Bomb, or SDB, is an extended range all-weather, day or night 250-pound class, guided munition. The SDB relies on the Global Positioning System to provide navigation to the target within a maximal range of 46 miles.