As the SDB II program is nearing completion of developmental testing Raytheon has completed the first production lot of the Small Diameter Bomb II (designated GBU-53/B) at its fully-automated manufacturing facility in Tucson, Arizona. The U.S. Air Force has already contracted with Raytheon to produce Lots 2 and 3.
The SDB II bomb is a gliding precision weapon with a one-of-a-kind tri-mode seeker that uses millimeter wave radar, uncooled imaging infrared guidance and semi-active laser guidance to find its targets. The weapon’s two-way datalink allows it to receive in-flight target updates. Once fielded, SDB II will enable pilots to engage more targets at ranges greater than 40 miles using fewer aircraft. “SDB II does much more than hit GPS coordinates; it detects, classifies and engages targets when it is integrated on the F-35A, this weapon will also help the world’s most advanced fighter jet reach entirely new targets,” said Mike Jarrett, Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice president.