Small diameter bomb finishes developmental testing

Raytheon’s GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb Increment II (SDB II) has finished developmental testing (DT), the company announced on April 19. The DT programme included 44 live fire drops, with the moving target defeat capability of the SDB II being demonstrated. It was followed by operational testing starting in May, including 55 livefire tests over 12-15 months. A first limited operational capability for the SDB II – 144 weapons in one F-15E Strike Eagle squadron – is scheduled for January 2019. The SDB II will next be integrated with the F/A-18 Super Hornet and then the F-35 Lightning II, both by 2022. David C Isby