Poor weather and battlefield obscurants continue to endanger warfighters as adversaries rely on these conditions to escape attacks. This has established the requirement for an all-weather solution that enhances warfighters’ capabilities when visibility is limited.
Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II), a Raytheon Company program for the U.S. Air Force, will provide this capability to the warfighter.
The seeker works in three different modes to provide maximum operational flexibility: a millimeter wave radar to detect and track targets through weather, an imaging infrared for enhanced target discrimination and a semi-active laser that enables the weapon to track an airborne laser designator or one on the ground.
This powerful, integrated seeker seamlessly shares targeting information among all three modes, enabling weapons to engage fixed or moving targets at any time of day and in all-weather conditions. SDB II’s tri-mode seeker can also peer through battlefield dust and debris, giving the warfighter a capability that’s unaffected by conditions on the ground or in the air.
SDB II can fly more than 45 miles to strike mobile targets, reducing aircrews’ time in harm’s way. The weapon’s small size allows fewer aircraft to take out the same number of targets as previous, larger weapons that required multiple jets. SDB II’s size has broader implications for the warfighter and taxpayers, as it means fewer attacks with less time spent flying dangerous missions.
The U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy have begun SDB II integration activities on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft. Raytheon will complete integration on the F-15E Strike Eagle in 2017.