Tuesday, March 21, 2023

U.S. Air Force demonstrates GBU-39 smart bomb capabilities

The U.S. Air Combat Command has released footage of F-16 airstrikes featuring GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs at the Nevada Test and Training Range.

In a video post published on the U.S. Air Combat Command’s Facebook page on Friday, showed capabilities of GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb or smart bomb with over 45 mile range.

According to the Air Force officials, the GBU-39B Small Diameter Bomb, or SDB, is an extended range all-weather, day or night 250-pound class, guided munition. The SDB relies on the Global Positioning System to provide navigation to the target. Additionally, its small size allows increased aircraft loadout to achieve multiple kills per sortie and inherently reduces the probability of collateral damage.


The original SDB is equipped with a GPS-aided inertial navigation system to attack fixed/stationary targets such as fuel depots, bunkers, etc.

The SDB provides a transformational capability to the warfighter increasing smart weapon carriage by placing up to four smart weapons per 1760 store location.

The weapon system is capable of standoff ranges in excess of 46 nautical miles. The system can be targeted and released against single or multiple targets. SDB target coordinates are loaded into the weapon before release either on the ground or in the air by the aircrew. Once the weapon is released, it relies on GPS/INS to self-navigate to the desired impact point.

The GBU-39 SDB can go aboard the F-15E Strike Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-35 Lightning II, Panavia Tornado, JAS-39 Gripen, AC-130W gunship and even B-1 Lancer, B-52 Stratofortress bombers.

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Executive Editor

About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is executive editor of Defence Blog. He is journalist, accredited defense adviser and consultant. READ MORE