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USAF Selects Raytheon's GBU-53/B For Small Diameter Bomb II Program

by Staff Writers
Tucson AZ (SPX) Aug 10, 2010
The U.S. Air Force selected Raytheon Company's GBU-53/B for the Small Diameter Bomb increment II program. The SDB II is an air-launched, precision-strike standoff weapon that will enable the warfighter to defeat moving and fixed targets in adverse weather conditions.

The $450 million contract calls for Raytheon's GBU-53/B to begin engineering manufacturing development. Delivery is expected to begin in 2013 with a required assets available date in late 2014.

"Raytheon proved we can provide the warfighter a low-risk, affordable solution that meets their needs," said Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president.

"A versatile weapon that is simple to employ, Raytheon's GBU-53/B can be integrated on all required aircraft and fully meets the load-out requirements for all versions of the fifth generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter's internal weapon bays."

Raytheon's GBU-53/B incorporates an improved seeker that features three modes of operation: millimeter-wave radar, uncooled imaging infrared and semiactive laser.

"Raytheon's innovative use of an uncooled IIR seeker met all the warfighter's requirements and reduced the weapon's total life-cycle cost and logistics footprint," added Dr. Lawrence.

Raytheon had a successful technical demonstration program, during which the company tested and verified that its form factored tri-mode seeker could seamlessly transition between modes.

The GBU/53-B seeker proved its reliability during flight testing when it flew 26 missions in 21 days without a single hardware failure.

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