F-22A Begins SDB Weapon Integration Test Flights

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An F-22A Raptor flies Feb. 2, 2007, with four Small Diameter Bombs on board. Pilots and engineers from the F-22 Combined Test Force were performing load tests to ensure the GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bomb system does not exceed structural load boundaries for the Raptor. (Photo by Darin Russell)

The US Air Force began integration testing of the F-22A Raptor and the GBU-39/B Small-Diameter Bomb (SDB). Testing is conducted since February 2007 by the 411th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards. The weapon is a low-cost, stand-off, next generation precision strike weapon, capable of flying autonomously. Integrating the F-22’s stealth and speed and the weapon at a stand-off distance of up to 60 nautical miles (111 km). The 250-pound (114 kg) class small-diameter bomb takes target information from the aircraft and flies using an onboard computer after release from the aircraft. Four SDBs and its BRU-61 carriage can be loaded in each weapon bay of the Raptor, enabling the F-22 to carry a total of eight SDB weapons in addition to two AMRAAMs.

An F-22A Raptor flies Feb. 2, 2007, with four Small Diameter Bombs on board. Pilots and engineers from the F-22 Combined Test Force were performing load tests to ensure the GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bomb system does not exceed structural load boundaries for the Raptor. (Photo by Darin Russell)