Dynetics awarded up to $470 million to produce small glide bombs for US special operations

Dynetics has been awarded up to $470 million to produce GBU-69B Small Glide Munitions for U.S. Special Operations Command, a U.S. Department of Defense release said.

The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract has five ordering periods and allows for firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-fixed-fee task and delivery orders to be placed, the Friday, June 8 release said.

Work under the sole-source contract could continue through fiscal year 2030, depending when orders are placed, the release added.

In May, Breaking Defense reported that about 4,000 SGMs could be procured over the next four years – 700 in 2018 and 2019, 900 in 2020 rising to 1,000 per year in 2021 and 2022.

Last June, Dynetics was awarded a $10.9 million contract by the U.S. Air Force for the supply of 13 months of GBU-69B all-up-rounds. According to Jane’s, the contract was for an initial delivery of 70 SGMs with an option for 30 more, along with 15 inert munitions/warheads for testing. This was followed in August with the award of a $93 million U.S. Air Force contract for Small Glide Munitions, with work expected to be completed by August 2022.

GBU-69B Small Glide Munition

The GBU-69B Small Glide Munition is a 60 lb (27 kg) class precision-guided glide bomb that can be carried on AC-130 gunships or unmanned aircraft systems.

The munition is unpowered, making it much lighter than similar weapons, but also enabling it to carry a larger warhead than the similarly sized Hellfire missile. At 36 lb (16 kg), the blast-fragmentation warhead is more than half of the munition’s total mass, compared to the 20 lb (9kg) warhead carried by the Hellfire missile, which weighs in at 100 lbs (45 kg).

Further, the SGM can travel more than 20 miles (32 km) compared to the Hellfire’s 8 km (5 miles) range.

According to Breaking Defense, the SGM can hit targets moving up to 70 mph (113 km/h). It uses a BAE Systems Distributed Aperture Semi-Active Laser Seeker adapted from the WGU-59/B Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System for terminal guidance, and is guided to the target area by a Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module GPS receiver.

The munition uses a modular design, enabling different seekers, tail kits and wing assemblies to be fitted directly to the warhead.

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