Boeing Celebrates Small Diameter Bomb Delivery Milestones
The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today celebrated a trio of Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) delivery milestones -- the 1,000th SDB I, the 200th BRU-61/A Bomb Rack Unit Carriage System and the first 50 Focused Lethality Munitions (FLM) -- demonstrating a commitment to providing effective solutions to the U.S. military.
The milestones were observed with a ceremony at Boeing’s St. Charles, Mo., Weapons Programs facility.
“I am very proud of the U.S. Air Force and Boeing SDB team for working together to make these achievements possible,” said Debra Rub-Zenko, vice president, Boeing Weapons Programs. “SDB is a great program that provides extremely effective weapons capability to current and future warfighters.”
Boeing and the Air Force SDB Program Office last year received the Precision Strike Association’s 2007 William J. Perry Award for leadership and performance excellence. Col. Richard Justice, commander of the 918th Armament Systems Group at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., credits the weapon’s success to this partnership.
“SDB enjoys a great reputation within the Department of Defense as a model weapon-acquisition program,” he explained. “A significant reason for that is our strong partnership with Boeing. I’d like to offer my thanks to Boeing and the entire SDB I team for delivering the first 1,000 weapons and first 50 FLM weapons ahead of schedule -- a tremendous accomplishment.”
Because of its small size and robust performance, the SDB I weapon system, which includes the four-bomb capacity BRU-61/A carriage system, greatly increases the mission capability of current and future platforms. Boeing delivered the first production SDB in May 2006 and entered full-rate production in December 2006. Currently, more than 24,000 weapons and 2,000 carriages are in Air Force procurement and budget plans. The Air Force is investing $1.2 billion for production of the system, with deliveries planned beyond 2015.
The all-weather SDB I weapon system is compatible with every U.S. fighter and bomber aircraft. It has a standoff range of 60 nautical miles. At 71 inches long, the 250-pound class weapon quadruples the number of weapons each aircraft can carry.
The FLM variant, with its non-fragmenting case, combines ultra-low collateral damage and pinpoint accuracy for precision strikes on selected targets with limited damage outside the blast zone. The weapon incorporates a carbon-fiber composite warhead and an advanced multi-phase blast explosive to eliminate fragmentation. The small blast area makes it possible to defeat targets in sensitive areas while minimizing risk to nearby personnel or structures. The new carbon-fiber warhead replicates the SDB steel-case warhead in size, shape and mass, allowing FLM to use proven SDB components.
Delivery of the first 50 FLMs is part of a $27 million Air Force Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) contract.
“The JCTD process has been a very effective approach to rapidly develop the Focused Lethality Munition and provide a new capability for the warfighter,” said Dan Jaspering, director, Boeing Direct Attack Weapons Programs. “It further reduces collateral damage of the baseline Small Diameter Bomb, allowing engagement of even more targets.”
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