Faulty Fin Design Delays Deployment Of Small Diameter Bomb By US Navy And Air Force

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Faulty Fin Design Delays Deployment Of Small Diameter Bomb By US Navy And Air Force

US Air Force’s GBU-53 StormBreaker

A report by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) has noted that the deployment of the US Air Force’s GBU-53 StormBreaker, better known as the Small Diameter Bomb II, has been delayed by almost a year due to a problem with the gliding bomb’s folding wings.

The Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) is a 204-pound weapon fitted with a pair of long gliding wings that enable it to glide for up to 40 nautical miles, homing in on its target using three separate systems: infrared imaging, millimeter-wave radar and semi-active laser. The bomb is anticipated to be deployed on the F/A-18 Hornet, F-15 Eagle and F-35 Lightning II.

However, a serious problem affecting the functioning of the bomb’s gliding wings has delayed production and initial operational capability (IOC) for nearly a year, according to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office, an investigatory unit of the US Congress.

Responding to the report, US Air Force spokesperson Capt. Jake Bailey told Defense News that the problem is due to a “backup fin storage device” which causes “vibration fatigue over long flight hours.”

Also, according to the GAO the bomb’s long gliding fins, which remain folded atop the bomb during storage, could “inadvertently deploy before launch.”

“While this problem could affect all aircraft carrying the bomb, officials said the greatest impact is to the F-35, because the bomb is carried in the aircraft’s internal weapons bay and could cause serious damage if the fins deploy while the bomb is in the bay,” the report notes. LINK

Faulty Fin Design Delays Deployment Of Small Diameter Bomb By US Navy And Air Force

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According to Raytheon, the US Air Force and Navy have begun StormBreaker ‘smart weapon’ integration activities on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft. Raytheon Missiles & Defense completed development and integration on the F-15E Strike Eagle in April 2018.

The SDB would be particularly useful to the F-35, as the plane’s internal bomb bay is not large enough to store many weapons. The plane’s Block 4 upgrade has also been delayed, preventing it from carrying other weapons such as the Naval Strike Missile and B61 nuclear bomb.

Raytheon has been forced to retrofit at cost all 598 SDBs delivered to the Air Force with a redesigned clip that reduces vibration of the fins.

The new weapon is now expected to be ready for initial deployment by August 2020, according to the GAO.


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Zionism = EVIL

What a surprise :) the dumbass bankrupt morons are going bankrupt with imploding streets, a new survey rates the Americunt racist warmongers as the most depressed people on the planet and the idiots want to wage endless wars for the Jew parasites.

Liberal guy

Hahahahaha this news is just a joke.fools should better upgrade its ninja scum as its more effective and so called more dangerous .error engineering at its best. At least it’s ninja is effective in killing wahhabis slave commanders of theirs which recently killed two formar hts horas scums of Jordanian nationality who where travelling in a sant fe.

Assad must stay

good hahahahaha

Pave Way IV

Oh my GOD! The GBU-39 is absolutely critical to the defense of America. There are several foreign countries attacking the U.S. mainland today right on our own soil and…

Oh, I guess not. Nevermind.

chris chuba

Definitely an offensive weapon but what is the use case for the F35, try to assassinate Xi or Putin?

Let’s assume you can fit it into the internal bombay, F35 stealth makes it invisible, and it has a range of 40 miles (for the sake of argument). The 200 lb bombs aren’t going to take out Chinese ships near Taiwan. Ships move so these would have to be laser guided and the payload is too small.

Justin are you going to descend from Mt. Olympus and give me a lecture on laser guided bombs. BTW have you found any documentation that shows that Patriot systems tell you the exact spot where ballistic missiles are going to land if they fail to do their job? The owners might prefer that they intercept the missiles 5 miles above the ground and 10 to 30 miles before that point.

Pave Way IV

It’s worse than you think, Chris. To meet the Pentagon’s requirement for an affordable SDB and Raytheon’s requirement for an obscenely profitable SDB, the explosive payload had to be completely eliminated to save weight. Lethality on the StormBreaker is achieved by slamming a flying a carbon-fiber tube filled with overpriced circuit boards into the enemy target, while playing very loud, distorted 1980’s hair band music (classified). In addition, the Pentagon is considering switching to crowdsourced financing for the next phase of development – SDBs employing a novel flapping-wing design for extended range.

Speaking of circuit boards, the SDB II development has taken so freaking long that the company that Raytheon subbed out to make boards for the tri-mode guidance unit is ending production this year. The board manufacturing technology is so obsolete that it’s not worth it for the company to keep making them for Raytheon. All this on a bomb that has not yet reached its first operational milestone. Program managers are probably going to order thousands of these boards now to avoid redesigning or retesting anything during the next few years of GBU-53 production.


All good. Will need another billion dollars in cost overruns for the MIC

cechas vodobenikov

one more example of incompetent amerikan design…and the USA believes it could defeat North Korea—they can’t even defeat barefoot militias in Afghanistan; they are only qualified to murder civilians in wedding parties….where are the CIA trolls commenting here? absent and humiliated…