Small Diameter Bomb II production at a standstill for almost a year

Deliveries of a new precision-guided bomb under development by Raytheon for the F-35 and other fighter jets have been at a standstill for about a year as the company struggles to correct a technical problem involving a key component.


A fix for the issue, which brought production of the Small Diameter Bomb II to a halt in July 2019, could be approved by the government as soon as July, said Air Force spokesman Capt. Jake Bailey in response to questions by Defense News.

However, a June report by the Government Accountability Office pointed out that continued technical issues have already caused a delay in fielding the munition, with Raytheon forced to redesign a key component and retrofit all 598 bombs already delivered to the Air Force and Navy.

The Small Diameter Bomb II — also known as the CGU-53 StormBreaker — was designed with a tri-mode seeker that includes a millimeter wave radar, imaging infrared and semi-active laser that allow the weapon to engage targets in all weather conditions and environments where visibility is obscured by dust and debris.

The Air Force and Navy plan to integrate SDB II with a range of fighter aircraft including the F-15, F/A-18 Super Hornet and F-35 joint strike fighter, but the munition has been mired in development for more than a decade. This latest stoppage in production was prompted by… READ MORE HERE