The Buzz

The Inside Scoop of How Deadly the 'New' F-35 Will Be

The SBD II is engineered to weigh only 208 pounds, a lighter weight than most other air dropped bombs, so that eight of them can fit on the inside of an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Raytheon officials explained.

If weapons are kept in an internal weapons bay and not rested on an external weapons pod, then an aircraft can succeed in retaining its stealth properties because the shapes or contours of the weapons will not be visible to enemy radar.

About 105 pound of the SDB II is an explosive warhead which encompasses a “blast-frag” capability and a “plasma-jet” technology designed to pierce enemy armor, Raytheon officials explained.

The SDB II also has the ability to classify targets, meaning it could for example be programmed to hit only tanks in a convoy as opposed to other moving vehicles. The weapon can classify tanks, boats or wheeled targets, Raytheon officials added.

Auto Ground Collision Avoidance System

Grabowski also told Warrior Maven that, alongside the ongoing integration of the SDB II, the Air Force is progressing with the integration of a technology called Auto-Ground Collision Avoidance System. It is expected to be integrated next year, she added.

The technology, now installed on digital F-16 fighters, uses computer algorithms to take over an aircraft's flight trajectory and change a potential collision course with the ground or nearby terrain, senior Air Force officials told Warrior.

The technology calculates where the aircraft is and where it would hit the ground based upon the way it is flying at the time, senior Air Force officials told Warrior Maven. If the fighter jet is flying toward a potential collision with the ground, the on-board computer system will override the flight path and pull the aircraft away from the ground.

Auto-Ground Collision Avoidance is already saving lives, senior Air Force officials told Warrior Maven.

This first appeared in Warrior Maven here.