Scratch One for the Bantam Bomb

A GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb II scored a direct hit against a moving target for the first time in a test at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., announced manufacturer Raytheon on July 19. An F-15E flying from Holloman AFB, N.M., successfully deployed the weapon in the July 17 test, according to the company. The bomb’s tri-mode seeker acquired, tracked, and guided the bomb to the target. The sophisticated seeker allows the bomb to “engage moving targets in bad weather or battlefield obscurants in high threat environments,” explained Harry Schulte, Raytheon’s missile systems vice president. The weapons’ small warhead is extremely useful in “defeating threats, such as swarming boats, mobile air defense systems, or armored targets,” while limiting collateral damage, he added. The weapon, currently under development for the Air Force, is capable of reaching targets from stand-off range.