Raytheon's GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb II Completes Risk Reduction
Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) completed GBU-53/B datalink flight testing. This concludes all testing requirements for the company's Small Diameter Bomb II risk reduction program.
"The datalink met all key performance milestones and demonstrated the requirements needed to achieve 'technology readiness level 6,'" said Harry Schulte, Raytheon's vice president of Air Warfare Systems. "All other GBU-53/B subsystems have attained this technology readiness level as well, which means we are ideally postured to start engineering manufacturing development if we are awarded a contract."
Raytheon is competing for the U.S. Air Force's SDB II engineering manufacturing development contract, scheduled for award in 2010. Delivery of the first production rounds is planned for late 2013.
During the test, engineers evaluated both the Link 16 and UHF modes of the datalink, verifying the weapon was capable of receiving in-flight target updates and transmitting weapon in-flight track messages. The updates were used in the tests to slew the GBU-53/B's form-factored seeker to target locations on the ground.
The test was conducted using a U.S. Army UH-1 helicopter in late August. The UH-1 provided a cost-effective means to test the GBU-53/B hardware in a relevant environment and accumulate more data on each mission than would have been possible with a fast-moving jet aircraft.
Raytheon also completed another control test vehicle launch in late July using an F-15E launch aircraft.
Raytheon Company, with 2008 sales of $23.2 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 87 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 73,000 people worldwide.