The warhead for Raytheon Company's (NYSE: RTN) Small Diameter Bomb II performed at twice what was required during a series of recent tests. The test marked the first demonstration of an SDB II warhead built on a fully-automated production line.
SDB II is the world's first weapon capable of engaging fixed or moving targets around-the-clock in adverse weather conditions from a range of greater than 40 nautical miles (approximately 46 statute miles).
"SDB II is affordable because we designed it to be low cost, producible, and meet government specifications. Exceeding those requirements at no extra cost is good for the taxpayer and warfighter," said Harry Schulte, vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems' Air Warfare Systems. "We are determined to keep SDB II on cost and ahead of schedule because the warfighter needs, but doesn't have, an air-launched weapon that can engage moving targets in adverse weather."
After building the test warheads on the production line, engineers put the warheads through an accelerated conditioning regime equivalent to 500 flight hours and 20 years of aging in a bunker, followed by live detonation testing.
"Using production-ready processes, the SDB II warhead is meeting or exceeding all requirements barely a year after contract award," said Tom White, Raytheon's SDB II program director. "The Raytheon team is dedicated to giving all stakeholders the best value for their money, and most importantly, giving our warfighters a critical capability they don't have today."
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