GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II) program achieved an important milestone last week when the weapon successfully engaged and hit a moving target using its tri-modal seeker. SDB II is designed to engage moving targets in adverse weather and through battlefield obscurants. “SDB II is the first in the next generation of smart weapons that uses multi-mode seekers and fully networked enabled data links to engage moving targets in bad weather or battlefield obscurants in high threat environments,” said Harry Schulte, vice president of Air Warfare Systems for Raytheon Missile Systems.
On July 17 test, a crew of a U.S. Air Force F-15E fighter staging out of Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., released the GBU-53/B, which then acquired, tracked and guided to a moving target scoring a direct hit. during a flight test at the White Sands Missile Range, N.M. Currently in engineering and manufacturing development,
As a mission-flexible weapon SDB II is capable of defeating threats such as swarming boats, mobile air defense systems or armored targets. It’s capabilities include the ability for the weapon to be employed in three primary attack modes, each with a subset mode, for a total of six engagement modes. A dual band, two-way weapon data link for in-flight target updates and status reporting allows post-launch control of the weapon by the launching aircraft, a Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC), or a third party. In addition to its adverse weather, moving-target capability, SDB II can hit targets from stand-off ranges. It has a powerful warhead capable of destroying armored targets, yet keeps collateral damage to a minimum through a small explosive footprint.