Raytheon awarded contract to upgrade Small Diameter Bomb

An F-15E fighter aircraft, pictured, can carry seven groups of four SDB II bombs, for a total of 28 weapons. Photo courtesy of Raytheon

Raytheon has been awarded a $450 million contract for engineering changes and development of the Small Diameter Bomb II, an update for the U.S. Air Force.

The contract, announced Wednesday by the Department of Defense, is for design, development, integration, test and production engineering for changes to the SDB.

Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz., and is expected to be finished by Aug. 31, 2024. No funds have been obligated yet for the award, which was the result of a sole-source acquisition.

The SDB II is capable of three modes — a millimeter wave radar that detects and tracks targets through all weather, imaging infrared for improved target discrimination, and a semi-active laser allowing it to track lasers in the air or on the ground.

The bomb can strike targets more than 45 miles away and has a small size, so more of them can be carried by fewer aircraft.

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The SDB II is being integrated for use on the F-35 and F/A-18E/F by the U.S. Air Force and Navy, and Raytheon is expected to have it prepared for integration with the F-15E by the end of the year.

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