SDB Is Operational, Early

Air Combat Command has declared initial operational capability six months earlier than anticipated for Boeing’s Small Diameter Bomb. Gen. Ronald Keys, ACC boss, said the 250-pound autonomous GBU-39B reached IOC on Oct. 2. It has been deployed to Southwest Asia with elements of the 48th Fighter Wing from RAF Lakenheath, England. The SDB gives the Air Force a “very precise coordinate seeking weapon,” carrying minimal explosive material needed to destroy a target, in a small, lightweight package that lets aircraft “service more targets on a single pass,” says Lt. Col. Mark Pierce, with ACC’s advanced weapons requirements branch. ACC plans to integrate the SDB with the F-16, F-22A, F-35, B-1B, B-2, and possibly the B-52.