WASHINGTON, (BM) – America has nearly $ 740 billion. annual military budget, which allows the American defense to provide security to the country and its citizens, and the military industry to develop and be a leader in the international arms market.
Just a few days ago, as we learned on September 24, Washington decided to spend nearly $ 2 billion. for the production and integration of small diameter aircraft bombs. The contractor will be the Chicago company Boeing, which will produce and deliver the necessary equipment for the US Air Force as part of a specially designed weapons program.
It should be noted that the contract and the order to Boeing cover a fairly long period of time and according to the US Department of State this is a period of 15 years, and it is clear that this order concerns not only US defense, but also specific and potential future partners. USA.
So far, it is clear that in addition to the United States, countries such as Australia, Belgium, Israel, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands and Norway are also involved in planning the production and supply of small diameter bombs.
Many military experts, including Boeing engineers, note that such bombs are the future of precision destruction. Two other key facts should not be overlooked, which will play a significant role in the development of this technology, namely the low cost of production of the bomb, and the low possibility of external or internal damage to the bomb. Such a small-diameter bomb can hit a target with precise accuracy at a distance of more than 60 miles.
The Small Diameter Bomb is a precision-guided bomb used by the US armed forces. The NATO code is GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb. After the GBU-44 Viper Strike, the SDB is the smallest precision-guided bomb used by the US armed forces and has been in use since September 2006.
Development of such a bomb began in the mid-1990s. The US military was looking for a bomb of the 250 pound class (around 113 kilograms) with high accuracy in order to be able to increase the number of bombs per aircraft and thus the number of hits per mission. The smallest precision bomb used by the US armed forces to date was the GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack ammunition, which was introduced in 1998 and was twice as heavy.
The stealth aircraft B-2 and F-22 used by the US Air Force and the F-35, which is currently in development, should benefit from the new weapon, as they could carry more than twice the number of bombs in the weapon bay without their radar cross-section to increase. The smaller warhead could also reduce the accompanying damage.
The US Air Force divided the development of the bomb into two phases:
- The SDB I should be able to combat stationary targets and find its target using the global positioning system and inertial navigation. Triggering from as great a distance as possible should minimize the danger to the aircraft and the pilot.
- The SDB II should also be able to hit moving targets and therefore be equipped with an IR seeker head for automatic target acquisition and an extended communication interface.
This is not the first contract under this Boeing program. Let us remind you that exactly one year ago, in September 2019, the company also received an order from the US Department of Defense worth nearly $ 280 million. for integration and maintenance of small diameter bombs.
United States turned the ‘deadly’ F-35 into a nuclear fighter jet
In the United States, the first photographs of F-35A fighters dropping inert nuclear bombs B61-12 in the vicinity of Edwards Air Force Base, California, are presented on June 24 this year.
The aircraft capable of using both nuclear and conventional ammunition are expected to be certified in 2023. Having gained such a double ability, the F-35 will be able to use the B61-12 special ammunition.
The F-35 Joint Program Office has released a series of photographs demonstrating tests of aircraft designed for combat use of both nuclear and conventional ammunition (DCA, Dual Capable Aircraft). In the pictures, F-35 fighters drop inert nuclear bombs of the B61-12 type (that is, during the tests, an active nuclear explosion does not occur. This is reported by The Aviationist.
It’s no secret that the F-35A Lightning II in the CTOL (Convetional Take Off and Landing) version, that is, with standard take-off and landing, will be capable of delivering both nuclear munitions and conventional weapons to targets.
It is expected that such a dual ability for the F-35 will be provided by the appropriate software in the modification of the Block 4. It will provide the possibility of the combat use of special B61-12 ammunition.
F-35A fighters in the DCA version according to the plan must pass nuclear certification no earlier than January 2023. However, tests with B61-12 as part of the 461st test squadron (461st FLTS, Flight Test Squadron), which tests all variants of the 5th generation F-35 Lightning II fighters at Edwards Air Force Base, began for aircraft of this type in 2019 .
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