The Air Force’s Small Diameter Bomb II program has advanced to the point that is it ready for low-rate initial production, announced manufacturer Raytheon. Reaching the Milestone C threshold, as it is known, came after the Air Force and company completed the decision briefing on the bomb, states Monday’s release. “The Milestone C decision enables us to begin putting this game-changing capability into the warfighters’ hands,” said Col. Kevin Hickman, SDB II program manager. “Achieving Milestone C marks the hard work of the US government and Raytheon teams to verify that we meet or exceed the requirements necessary for a Lot 1 production decision,” added Jim Sweetman, Raytheon’s SDB II program director. The next step before LRIP is for the Pentagon to issue an acquisition decision memorandum validating that the bomb may continue to production. SDB II is designed to attack moving and stationary ground targets in all weather conditions from standoff ranges. (See also SDB II Clears Live Testing.)
Adm. Christopher Grady, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs and head of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, is pushing a “portfolio” approach to requirements and wants his position to have “more teeth” so he can enforce it.