April 22, 2010
ST. LOUIS, -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has begun fielding Block 09 software for the Small Diameter Bomb Increment I (SDB I) that adds to the weapon system's capability and updates its concept of operations.
"In response to the changing battlefield environment, Boeing and the U.S. Air Force have worked together to expand SDB I's mission capability from a long-range standoff weapon into a weapon that also minimizes flight time to target -- ideal for close air support," said Dan Jaspering, Boeing program director for Direct Attack Weapons.
The software upgrade is designed to minimize flight time so that the weapon reaches the target faster while maintaining accuracy and low collateral damage. The upgrade does not require any physical changes to the weapon or the carriage. Both fielded weapons and new productions of SDB I and its Focus Lethality Munition (FLM) variant will receive the upgrade.
SDB I is a 250-pound class, low-cost and low-collateral-damage precision strike weapon. It incorporates a steel case and penetrating blast-fragmentation warhead. The weapon's smaller size, coupled with its four-place carriage, enables more weapons to be carried on each aircraft to improve mission effectiveness and reduce the number of sorties required per mission. The FLM variant provides even lower collateral damage effects with the use of a composite case warhead.
Since 2003, Boeing has delivered more than 5,000 SDB I weapons to the Air Force, all on schedule and on cost. Deliveries are on contract through 2012.