Boeing and Saab will compete with Israel Military industries

Small Diameter Bomb - אילוסטרציה

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Small Diameter Bomb - Illustration
Small Diameter Bomb – Illustration

Boeing and Saab announced that they are working to transform Boeing’s Small Diameter Bomb – a guided weapon typically launched from fighter and bomber aircraft thousands of feet in the air. The transformation will turn this weapon system into a ground-launched rocket artillery piece. The two firms are also quietly developing a new jet trainer aircraft in hopes of landing a multibillion-dollar deal with the U.S. Air Force.

The new teaming puts is in direct competition Israel Military industries (IMI) that has developed a number of very smart rockets.

According to the two companies, the weapon will be capable of reaching a greater range and strike targets in front or behind the launcher. This feature includes targets on the backside of a hill or mountain. The companies successfully tested a rocket mated onto a Small Diameter Bomb in February.

The three tests, conducted at a range in Sweden, proved that the Boeing and Saab design could successfully launch a SDB weapon from the ground, sync up with GPS and guide the weapon to its target.

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ADME 2015_ 650 × 90The weapon is designed to be launched out of a multiple launch rocket system (MLRS), used by a number of US allies already, avoiding the need to design a new launch system. That MLRS can hold six weapons per pod, with two pods per vehicle.

Executives from the two companies are positioning the system as a low-cost product that meets a requirement gap by combining off-the-shelf products.

IMI has developed the Extra rocket. This is a surface launched guided rocket capable of attacking fixed or moving targets from distances of 160 km. It uses an aerodynamically guided, roll stabilized rocket.

The Extended range Rocket System guidance system enables rocket artillery units to attack land targets with ‘less than 10 meter’ precision, regardless of the distance they are fired at – according to IMI. The weapon’s guidance uses an inertial measuring unit (IMU) coupled to a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS), forming a range-independent navigation system providing high immunity to GPS spoofing and countermeasures.

According to IMI, the weapon will carry a warhead weighing about 100 kg. Given the proven capabilities demonstrated by the MPR-500 warhead, and the proven capability of the Extra rocket to hit targets with high precision, IMI is confident its system is promising.