Raytheon StormBreaker bomb, formerly called the Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II), has entered operational testing, a step closer to providing U.S. Air Force pilots the capability to strike maneuvering targets in adverse weather.
Operational testing follows completion of a successful Operational Test Readiness Review in Spring 2018.
“StormBreaker has completed a rigorous set of testing,” said Mike Jarrett, Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice president. “With its tri-mode seeker and datalink, StormBreaker will transform the battlespace by rendering adverse weather irrelevant.”
The StormBreaker tri-mode seeker uses imaging infrared, millimeter wave (mmWave) and semi-active laser, giving pilots the ability to destroy moving targets on the battlefield in adverse weather from standoff ranges. The millimeter wave radar is to detect and track targets through weather, imaging infrared for enhanced target discrimination and semi-active laser that enables the weapon to track an airborne laser designator or one on the ground.
This powerful, integrated seeker seamlessly shares targeting information among all three modes, enabling the weapon to engage fixed or moving targets at any time of day and in all-weather conditions. The StormBreaker bomb’s tri-mode seeker can also peer through battlefield dust and debris, giving the warfighter a capability that’s unaffected by conditions on the ground or in the air.
The weapon can fly more than 45 miles to strike mobile targets, reducing the amount of time that aircrews’ spend in harm’s way. Its small size enables the use of fewer aircraft to take out the same number of targets as previous, larger weapons that required multiple jets.
Operational test flights are slated to begin in Summer 2018. StormBreaker will be fielded first on the F-15E Strike Eagle fighter aircraft, and is planned to be integrated onto the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) by 2022.