USA   F-111 Aardvark OZ
Small Smart Bomb

Last Updated 8 October, 2003

Article from:


Wind-tunnel tests end for US small smart bomb

CRAIG HOYLE JDW Staff Reporter

The USA's future small smart bomb (SSB) has completed supersonic wind-tunnel tests at Arnold Air Force Base (AFB), Tennessee, before its first deployment from a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) General Dynamics F-111 bomber later this year.

The next phase of the research project is due to take place from Edinburgh Air Base in South Australia in October or November. It will mark the first deployment of the 250lb (113kg) SSB from a supersonic strike platform's internal bomb bay.

Boeing's SSB is designed to match the destructive power of current 2,000lb precision-guided weapons, such as the BLU-109/B equipped with the company's Joint Direct Attack Munition guidance kit. It is intended to arm stealthy assets such as the US Air Force's Lockheed Martin F-117 and F-22 Raptor fighters. The US-UK Joint Strike Fighter is also likely to deploy the weapon, which could also prove attractive for future tactical unmanned air vehicle designs.

Capable of penetrating through 1.8m of reinforced concrete before detonating its 50lb high-explosive warhead, the 6in (15cm) diameter SSB will be used to destroy high-value targets, including buried command posts and aircraft concealed within hardened shelters.

The design is not expected to enter service until around 2007 given funding approval, according to Ken Lockwood, SSB programme manager for the Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate at Eglin AFB, Florida.

A 1/15th-scale model of an F-111 and a SSB underwent 12 hours of 'air-on' testing in a 4ft transonic wind tunnel at the Arnold Engineering Development Centre at Arnold AFB on 8-11 May.

The trials included aircraft separation studies at speeds of up to M1.3. Facility officials described initial test results as matching predictions formed from earlier modelling. Full results of the aerodynamic trajectory evaluations will be made available to programme officials in mid-July. While Australia has no current plans to acquire an SSB-type weapon, the RAAF is interested in continuing its role in the development study, said Glen Ackroid of the aircraft stores compatibility unit at the service's Aircraft Research and Development Unit, Edinburgh. LOGO
| Site Map | SEARCH
| Feedback | Combat Losses | Newsgroup / Notice Board | MEMORIAL
bulletin board
| images | sounds | movies | other links | published articles | history | troops | comics | models
| external differences | patches and badges | books | AGM-142 Popeye | museums | memorabilia | CD-ROM
Tail Numbers:
| EF / F-111A | F-111B | RF / F-111C | F-111D | F-111E | F-111F | FB-111A, F-111G | F-111K
F-111 Down-Under |
airshows | RAAF Tail Numbers | ejection | artwork | remembrances | KIDZ

Also visit' s companion site,   FB-111A Switchblade

Hosted WebSites:

CARLO KOPP's Technical Writings


Copyright '   F-111 Aardvark'. 1999-2002

Links to, and reviews of this site are welcome.

Disclaimer: This F-111 Aardvark Internet site does not represent the views of Boeing, Convair, General Dynamics, Grumman, Lockheed Martin, the United States Air Force, the Royal Australian Air Force or any other company or organisation which may be named herein.  Should any company, organisation or individual feel grieved that I am using their logo or product without permission, please contact me at the email above. Significant use is made of images public released by the Australian Defence Force (ADF).  These images are crown copyright, meaning that they may be reproduced but not for third party monetary gain. is not responsible or liable in any way for third party products or services featured or advertised on this website. is a 'not-for-profit' website.

Flag Gifs from