Raytheon Missiles & Defense today announced the StormBreaker smart weapon has been approved for use on the F-15E Strike Eagle fighter aircraft by the U.S. Air Force (USAF)’s Air Combat Command (ACC).
The fielding decision means that F-15E squadrons can now be equipped with StormBreaker and deployed for missions.
“StormBreaker delivers an unprecedented capability to pilots in the field,” said Paul Ferraro, vice president of Raytheon Missiles & Defense’s Air Power business. “The weapon gives airmen a significant advantage – the ability to strike maritime or land-based maneuvering targets at range in adverse weather.”
GBU-53/B StormBreaker, formerly called the Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II), features an innovative multimode seeker that guides the weapon by imaging infrared (IR), millimeter wave (mmW) radar, and semi-active laser in addition to or with GPS and inertial navigation system (INS) guidance.
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 has proven itself in many complex test scenarios, against a variety of targets in extreme environmental conditions, and is now ready to fly,” said Cristy Stagg, StormBreaker program director at Raytheon Missiles & Defense. “With its multimode seeker and datalink, StormBreaker will make adverse weather irrelevant.”
The weapon can fly more than 40 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.
The smart weapon’s initial fielding on the U.S. Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter jets later this year and integration for fielding on the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter are next for the program.