Small Diameter Bomb (SDB)

Staff Sgt. Russell David, 455th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron weapons load crew chief, inspects a GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb on an F-15E Strike Eagle at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. (Air Force photo) (Neg#: 070126-F-0718D-001) The Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) System is the next generation of low-cost and low collateral-damage precision strike weapons for internal and external carriage.

Components and Capabilities

The SDB System comprises the following components: the weapon itself, a four-weapon carriage, a precision inertial navigation system/global positioning system, a mission-planning system, and a logistics-support system.

  • Weapon
    • GBU-39/B: multipurpose, insensitive, penetrating, blast-fragmentation warhead for stationary targets; equipped with deployable wings for extended standoff range
      • Dimensions: (L x W): 70.8" x 7.5" (1.8 m x 19 cm)
      • Weight: 285 pounds (130 kg)
      • Warhead penetration: 3 feet of steel reinforced concrete
      • Fuse: electronic safe/arm fuze (ESAF) cockpit selectable functions, including air burst and delayed options
      • Standoff maximum range: more than 60 nautical miles
    • BRU-61/A "smart" pneumatic carriage
      • Payload capacity: four weapons
      • Weight: 320 pounds (145 kg) empty, 1,460 pounds (664 kg) loaded
      • Dimensions (L x W x H): 143" x 16" x 16" (3.6 m x 40.6 cm x 40.6 cm)
      • Fits nearly all delivery platforms, including internal/external carriages in the F-22A, F-35, Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) and B-1 and B-2 bombers
    • Guidance
      • Precision inertial navigation system/global positioning system (INS/GPS)
      • Anti-jam GPS and selective-ability anti-spoofing module (SAASM)


The SDB System offers the following advantages over systems that have a single 1,000-pound or 2,000-pound weapon:

  • More targets per sortie (4 weapons per aircraft weapons station)
  • Reduces collateral damage as a result of accuracy and small weapon size
  • Improves pilot/aircrew safety with its extended standoff range


  • Production deliveries started in April 2006 and system is in full rate production
  • Air Combat Command Commander declared initial operational capability for the SDB System on October 2, 2006--fielded ahead of schedule
  • SDB System successfully employed in combat from F-15E Strike Eagles of the 494

For more information on Small Diameter Bomb I (SDB I), read the Small Diameter Bomb Increment I (SDB I) overview.

For more information on Small Diameter Bomb Focused Lethality Munition (SDB FLM), read the Small Diameter Bomb Focused Lethality Munition (SDB FLM) overview.

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SDB in the News (stories from Air Force Link)

Strike Eagles 'rain thunder' on enemy

Small Diameter Bomb debuts in Afghanistan