Procurement Q1-2010

Collaboration on Bombs ( – 25 January 2010 and – 20 January 2010)

Boeing has signed a $34 million contract with Italy’s Oto Melara to co-produce the Small Diameter Bomb Increment I (SDB I) weapon system for the Italian Air Force.

Under the contract, Boeing will provide major SDB I mechanical and electrical components and test equipment for production of 500 weapons, 50 four-place weapon carriages, and associated support equipment. In addition, Boeing will help start up a production facility in Italy. Oto Melara, a unit of Italy’s Finmeccanica group, will complete final weapon assembly and testing.

The SDB I co-production project follows previous joint collaborations between Oto Melara and Boeing, including production of about 1,000 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) tail kits for the Italian Air Force.

SDB I is a 250-pound class, low-cost and low-collateral-damage precision strike weapon. The SDB bomb is 1.8 m long with a 19 cm diameter. It incorporates a steel case containing approximately 23 kg of AFX-757 explosive. It could perforate more than 1 m thick steel reinforced concrete.

The SDB is the second US munition to be assigned a 1.2.3 Hazard Storage SubDivision (SsD 1.2.3.). This classification requires a high level of IMness as the munition reaction must be at the most burning (type V) to fast cook-off, slow cook-off and bullet impact and explosion (type III) to sympathetic reaction aggression.


GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb


Carriage to fit 4 SDB Units in the Bay of a F-22 Aircraft

Saudi Arabia Buys MBDA Missiles: Sources ( – 19 February 2010)

Saudi Arabia has signed a deal to acquire the Storm Shadow cruise missile from European weapons builder MBDA as part of a Tornado strike aircraft update package, said industry sources. The weapons package also includes the Brimstone anti-armor missile, they said. There is no detail on the number of missiles or the contract value.

Earlier plans to include the ASRAAM short-range air-to-air missile ended last year when the Saudis selected Diehl BGT Defence's rival IRIS-T for Tornado and the Typhoon fighter (see third MSIAC Newsletter in 2009).

Storm Shadow is an air-launched cruise missile with a range in excess of 250 km and optimised for use in pre-planned attacks against heavily defended, hardened and high value fixed targets. To penetrate and destroy very thick reinforced concrete, it is equipped with a dual charge system, consisting of a Precursor Charge (PC) to provide the penetration and a Follow Through Bomb (FTB) to provide the destructive power. These charges are filled with IM explosive compositions (PBXN-110 for the PC and PBXN-109 for the FTB) and incorporate a number of mitigation features.

Storm Shadow has a very good IM signature: it is reported to pass slow and fast cook-off, bullet impact tests in bare missile configuration (type V) and sympathetic reaction in logistics container (type IV). No fragment impact test has been performed and a type V reaction has been assessed by analysis.

Thanks to this remarkable IM performance, Storm Shadow has been labeled MURAT 1* in France and has been classified as Hazard Division 1.2.


Storm Shadow Missile Architecture

Two Storm Shadow Missiles Carried by a Rafale.