Tucson-based Raytheon Missile Systems said today it has reached a major milestone in its development of the Small Diameter Bomb II, successfully engaging and hitting a moving target during a recent flight test at the White Sands Missile Range, N.M.
Currently in engineering and manufacturing development, SDB II is designed to engage moving targets in adverse weather and battlefield conditions. In 2010, Raytheon won an Air Force contract to develop and produce the SDB II after a competition with Boeing Co., maker of the first version of the weapon.
Raytheon said that during the test on Tuesday, the crew of a U.S. Air Force F-15E fighter jet operating from of Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, released the SDB II, which then tracked and guided to a moving target using its tri-mode seeker, scoring a direct hit.
“The SDB II is the first in the next generation of smart weapons that use multi-mode seekers, and fully networked enabled data links to engage moving targets in bad weather or battlefield obscurants in high threat environments,” Harry Schulte, Raytheon vice president of air-warfare systems, said in prepared remarks.
The guided bomb is capable of defeating threats such as swarming boats, mobile air defense systems, or armored targets, Schulte added.
SDB II’s integrated, tri-mode seeker — which is built in Raytheon’s automated seeker factory in Tucson — combines millimeter-wave radar, uncooled imaging infrared and semiactive laser sensors on a single gimbal, or pivoting mount.