Raytheon contracted for SDB II integration on F/A-18E/F platform

Raytheon has been awarded a US$93 million contract for Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II) integration on F/A-18E/F fighter jets, the US Department of Defense announced on June 28, 2018.

Raytheon contracted for SDB II integration on F A 18E F platform 001 Raytheon's GBU-53/B SDB II weapon
(Credit: Raytheon)

Under this contract, Raytheon will test, analyze, support and sustain SDB II weapon onto the F/A-18E/F platform with developmental and operational testing. 

Work will be performed in Tucson, Arizona, and is expected to be completed by July 1, 2023.  The US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity,” the Pentagon said.

According Raytheon, SDB II gives pilots the ability to destroy moving targets on the battlefield. Its seeker detects, classifies, tracks and destroys targets, even in adverse weather conditions from standoff ranges. The SDB II, called GBU-53/B by the US military, has an operational range of 110 km against static targets, and 72 km against moving targets.  Developmental testing on the weapon, a key step toward bringing this new capability to fighter pilots, was completed in April. 

During developmental testing, pilots dropped 44 SDB II bombs and tested them in all modes of operation. The weapon destroyed maneuvering targets in adverse weather and demonstrated third-party control through a datalink. It also chose the correct target from among decoys and proved compatibility with the F-15E Strike Eagle. 

Besides the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, early SDB II integration work has also begun on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.