Boeing has made tweaks to the robustness of the GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) after the US Air Force detected accuracy problems during operations, the company has told Flight International.

Details of the modifications to the 113kg (250lb)-class weapon have not been disclosed, although the manufacturer confirms that some GBU-39/Bs have experienced "wear and tear issues" after being carried on an aircraft for an extended period.

Boeing says further "robustness changes" are being investigated, although none of the adjustments will impose operational restrictions on the air force. "As with most new systems that are fielded we find situations that were not seen during development and operational testing," the company says.

The GBU-39/B made its combat debut over Iraq last October when two Boeing F-15Es carried the weapon on a close air support mission just three days after it was declared operational.

Overall, the air force appears satisfied with the munition's performance. "The SDB is performing very well," Col Gary Mausolf, chief of weapons requirements, told the Precision Strike Association's Annual Programs Review in Springfield, Virginia, last week. However, he added, a "few recent problems" were identified and "they're [Boeing] investigating what's going on with those".

© US Air Force
The Small Diameter Bomb made its debut on Boeing F-15Es over Iraq

Source: Flight International