SDB II Milestone C One Step Closer After September Live-Fire Test

Second flight test pushed to Oct. 14

Raytheon said this week that it is confident in the Small Diameter Bomb Increment II program’s ability to move from the engineering and manufacturing development phase to low-rate production after successfully completing a live-fire test last week.

According to company officials, the test occurred at White Sands Missile Range, NM, and the SDB II weapon successfully destroyed a target using normal attack mode.

John O’Brien, Raytheon’s SDB II program manager, described the test as a “complete success” and said the strike produced the intended effects. O’Brien spoke to Inside the Air Force following the Sept. 24 test and he was joined by the company’s head of SDB II business development, Jeff White.

O’Brien said the test completes one of the two remaining “graduation events” before the Air Force can make a milestone C decision and move the program from development to production.

“It operated nominally, as planned, and was a direct impact on the target,” O’Brien said. “The program was designed to do the most difficult and challenging tasks first. A normal attack mission, and there’s really nothing normal about it, includes two of the three modes of our tri-mode seeker that blends a solution set for the weapon to recognize, track and impact a target. That’s foreseen to be the newest and most challenging effort.”

Weapons testers had scheduled two SDB II live-fire tests for last week, but a logistical issue caused the first test to be pushed from Sept 22 to Sept. 24, and the second test has been rescheduled for Oct. 14 due to range availability. If the second test this month is deemed successful, the team will have completed the required testing program and can move ahead with the system verification review (SVR) — the primary set of documents the government will consider before making the milestone C decision.

Inside the Air Force – 10/03/2014, Vol. 25, No. 40