Tuesday, 19 February 2019

F-35 Block 4 jet fighter could become killer for the Navy with Small Diameter Bomb II, Aim 9X Block II

Lockheed Martin

F-35 Block 4 jet fighter could become killer for the Navy with Small Diameter Bomb II, Aim 9X Block II: After years of expensive development, the first combat-capable Block IIIF F-35 stealth fighter will enter service in this year, yet the Pentagon already is looking ahead to adding capabilities to a follow-on model called the F-35 Block 4 -- an upgrade so ambitious, its already budgeted to cost $16 billion. The National Interest reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

18 Feb. 2019 -- New weapon systems are due to be integrated in the Block 4 that significantly will expand the F-35’s maritime strike, air-to-ground capabilities and air-to-air lethality.

One major addition is the GBU-54/B Stormbreaker, also known as the Small Diameter Bomb II, or SDB II. Like the GPS-guided GBU-39 SDB I already integrated on the F-35, the 208-pound Stormbreaker is only six to seven inches in diameter, allowing eight to be stowed in the F-35’s confined internal weapon bays. If stealth is not a factor, a further 16 can be stored on the wings.

In air-to-air capability, the F-35B is set to gain compatibility with the AIM-9X Block II maneuverable short-range missile, which the pilot can control using a helmet-mounted sight. The Block II’s lock-on-after-launch capability means it can fire from the F-35’s internal bay without a lock, then, following guidance transmitted via the F-35’s datalink, turn as widely as 180 degrees towards a target acquired by radar or even optically using the pilot’s helmeted-mounted sight, before finally homing in for the kill using its heat-seeker.


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