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Norway approved for further Small Diameter Bombs for F-35

The F-35 demonstrating its ability to carry four SDB II bombs (plus an AIM-120 AMRAAM) in each of its two internal weapons bays. (Raytheon)

A Norwegian request for the additional purchase of Raytheon GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) IIs (now known more commonly as StormBreaker) for its fleet of Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters has been approved by the US State Department.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced the approval on 28 June, saying that a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) of up to 580 SDBs could be provided to equip the 52 F-35As on order with the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RoNAF). This number adds to the 20 SDBs already approved for a total potential sale of 600 bombs for an estimated USD293 million.

β€œThe proposed sale will improve Norway's capability to meet current and future threats by bolstering operational readiness while enhancing air and defence capabilities with a modernised weapon to support the new F-35A fleet,” the DSCA said.

The F-35A can carry up to eight SDB I/II bombs in its twin internal weapons bays.

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