General Atomics to Boost MQ-9 Reaper Firepower with Small-Diameter Bomb

MQ-9 Reaper Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).

MQ-9 Reaper Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).

December 18, 2017 | Source: Military & Aerospace Electronics,, 5 December 2017, John Keller

Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) experts at General Atomics are integrating the Raytheon laser-guided small diameter bomb (SDB) on the company's MQ-9 Reaper mid-size attack UAV under terms of a $17.5 million contract announced last week.

Officials of the U.S. Air Force Medium Altitude Unmanned Aerial System Division at Wright-Patterson Air For e Base, Ohio, are asking the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems segment in Poway, Calif., to integrate the GBU-39B -- also known as the laser SDB -- on the MQ-9 Reaper.

The small-diameter bomb will add to the Reaper UAV's weapons arsenal, which already includes the GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bomb, the AGM-114 Hellfire II air-to-ground missile, the AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile, and the GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM).