Small Diameter Bomb (SDB)

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Product Type:

Guided Air-to-Surface Weapon

Using Service (US):

Air Force (USAF) and Navy

Program Status:

Low Rate Initial Production (GBU-53 SDB-II)

Prime Contractor:

(SDB-I & FLM) The Boeing Company
(SDB-II) Raytheon Company

The GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb (SDB-I)

About the Small Diameter Bomb:





The Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) is a system of guided bombs designed to provide a conventional small sized, precision guided, standoff air-to-ground weapon that can be delivered from both fighters and bombers. The system employs a BRU-61/A smart pneumatic carriage capable of carrying four 250-pound class guided air-to-surface munitions capable of destroying high-priority fixed and stationary targets from fighters and bombers in internal bays or on external hardpoints.

The advantages of the SDB System - compared to systems that have a single 1,000-pound or 2,000-pound weapon - are increased aircraft loadout, smaller logistical footprint, decreased collateral damage, and improved aircraft sortie generation times. The Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) is a joint U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy program (led by the Air Force).

The Boeing GBU-39/B SDB-I is a fixed-target attack weapon, whereas the new Raytheon GBU-53/B SDB-II incorporates a tri-mode seeker and data link for use against moving targets. The SDB-II will be compatible with the BRU-61/A miniature munitions carriage and the CNU-660/E carriage system. The SDB-II can hit targets from a range of greater than 40 nautical miles. It has a powerful warhead capable of destroying armored targets while, at the same time, keeping collateral damage to a minimum. A third SDB, the Boeing GBU-40/B Focused Lethality Munition (FLM), is a fixed-target attack weapon similar to SDB-I, but a variant that increases the near field blast while decreasing collateral damage further.

In October 2013, Raytheon and the U.S. Air Force successfully completed a series of test flights with the GBU-53/B SDB-II. The DoD plans to purchase a total of 17,000 SDB-II weapons, including 12,000 for the Air Force and 5,000 for the Navy. Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) commenced in FY 2014. Full Rate Production (FRP) is expected in April 2022.



Applications/Platforms:

The GBU-39 SDB-I is fielded on the B-1B Lancer, the B-2A Spirit, the F-15E Strike Eagle, the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the F-22 Raptor, and is currently being integrated on the F-35 Lightning II.

The GBU-39 SDB-II will be fielded on the F-15E Strike Eagle (from 2018) and the F-35 Lightning II (F-35B an F-35C from 2022). Objective aircraft include the B-1B Lancer, B-2A Spirit, B-52 Stratofortress, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, F-22 Raptor, and MQ-9 Reaper. The AC-130 Gunship is being considered as an additional objective platform.



SDB Production Forecast:

A 15-year Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) production forecast is available through Forecast International's Platinum Forecast System, which includes a breakout of total market unit and value statistics by manufacturer and end-user. This real-time service also includes information on all prime and subcontractors, contract awards, worldwide inventories, a complete program history, and a rationale detailing the outlook of the program. A 10-year SDB production forecast is also available in report format through Forecast International's Ordnance & Munitions Forecast service.



Mission/Role:

The mission of the Small Diameter Bomb is to destroy targets from a medium-range standoff position deliverable by both fighters and bombers, with higher loadout and less collateral damage compared to other weapons.



FY 2017 & FY 2018 - DoD SDB Program:

This data is available in Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, a comprehensive analytical database containing historical and forecast budget figures, year-to-year funding comparisons, congressional budget markups, program justification documents, and much more.




Sources Used: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), The Boeing Company,
and Raytheon Co.

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Forecast International Budget Data:

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DoD Spending in FY 2014, FY 2015, FY 2016, FY 2017 and FY 2018 + 5-year forecast

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