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Air-Launched Weapons

USSOCOM, AFSOC test Block 1 GBU-69/B SGM datalink variant

15 March 2019
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A GBU-69/B Block 1 variant Small Glide Munition equipped with a Raytheon X-Net two-way datalink strikes a static target during USSOCOM/AFSOC flight tests in February 2019. Source: Dynetics

The US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and the US Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), in collaboration with Dynetics, have conducted a series of tests of the Block 1 variant of the Dynetics GBU-69/B Small Glide Munition (SGM) - an enhanced variant of the baseline SGM equipped with a Raytheon-developed X-Net two-way datalink.

Integrated into the Block 1 GBU-69/B under a collaborative effort initiated in 2017 between Raytheon Integrated Communication Systems and Dynetics, X-Net is a new small form factor, software-defined radio that meets the existing size, weight, and power (SwaP) allocations for the munition electronics in the Block 1 GBU-69/B. The system is designed to provide in-flight target updates (IFTUs) in order to improve weapon performance in dynamic targeting environments and to receive telemetry data for weapon performance and post-mission analysis. X-Net is MIL-STD-6016 compatible and supports the SGM's range of more than 20 n miles. A Dynetics-designed deployable mono-pole antenna, which is folded down along the length of the body pre-launch and deploys post-launch, is the only external modification made to the Block I datalink variant.

The Block 1 GBU-69/B is a 60 lb (27.2 kg)-class precision glide munition, featuring a modular design that provides for multiple common variants and significant design flexibility. By mounting the seeker nose section, tail kit, and wing assembly directly on to the warhead case, the design enables different seekers, warheads, and other subsystems to be incorporated. With a diameter of about 11.4 cm and a wingspan of 71.1 cm, the Block 1 variant SGM incorporates a 36 lb (16.3 kg) blast-fragmentation warhead that can be detonated either on impact or using a variable height of burst sensor. Both the baseline GBU-69/B SGM, which is currently fielded, and the Block 1 variant incorporate the same 36 lb warhead. The munition offers an all-azimuth launch capability, while its deployable wing provides significant stand-off range resulting in a large weapon footprint and a corresponding increase in armed over-watch area.

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