Dan Jaspering, Boeing SDB program manager, and Jim Pappafotis, Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control advanced programs director, said there are no lingering legal issues between the two companies over the earlier Small Diameter Bomb contract. Lockheed had sued to have the original program re-competed in light of the Darleen Druyun affair; last fall, however, the two companies teamed to compete for SDB II. There are no requirements that the second weapon be similar to the first version of the SDB, only that it fit on the special bomb rack designed for it. Jaspering said the weapon likely would be assembled at Boeing’s St. Charles, La., facility if the Boeing-Lockheed Martin team wins the contract.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.