Raytheon wins SDB II contract, but what does this mean?

Raytheon has successfully held off competitors to secure a deal which will secure it $450m to develop the small diameter bomb, SDB II. The weapon will be put into action by the US Air Force. Raytheon has beaten the Boeing/Lockheed team to the contract despite appearing second to the Boeing team.

SDB or small diameter bomb and the technology it possesses allows the US to strike targets on the move (or stationary) and in bad weather. This complicated technology, which is still being refined, gives the aircraft, in short, high precision accuracy.

Flight reported on SDB technology, which was a new concept, back in 2001 and Boeing/Lockheed competed against Raytheon to begin development of it. Raytheon lost out first time round. See our archive content -

8-14 May 2001: USAF initiates new precision bomb development – THE US Air Force is working on a next-generation precision attack munition called the Small Diameter Bomb (SDB). Work will be in three phases starting with…. (continue reading in the Flight archive)

9-15 October 2001: Boeing/Lockheed win small bomb bids – The US Air Force has awarded Boeing Phantom Works and Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control multi-million dollar contracts to start development of a SmallDiameter Bomb (SDB). Raytheon has been eliminated. (continue reading in the Flight archives)   

By Alastair Clark from Dulwich College, who is currently on work experience with Flightglobal 

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