The US Air Force has awarded Raytheon Missiles & Defense a $250 million contract modification for its GBU-53/B StormBreaker small diameter bomb II (SDB II).
The contract provides for “design, development, integration, test and production engineering for changes to the SDB II GBU-53/B technical and production baseline.” The company will conduct the work in Tucson, Arizona, with an expected completion date of Augustus 22, 2027.
The total value of the contract now stands at $700 million.
As part of the smart munition’s integration process with the F-15, the US Air Force drop-tested the StormBreaker last month. The 200-lb (91-kg) weapon was cleared for use with the F-15E Strike Eagle in 2020, with Raytheon and the service drop-testing 14 of the air-to-surface missiles in 2021 as part of the Weapons System Evaluation Program.
The US Navy also plans to integrate the missile with its F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft once it acquires initial operating capability.
According to Raytheon, the StormBreaker measures 69 in (175 cm) long, 6-7 in (15-18 cm) in diameter, and carries a 105-lb warhead.
The munition utilizes a tri-mode seeker that includes millimeter-wave radar and imaging infrared able to “see through fog, smoke and rain to glide over 45 miles (72 km) and strike at a fixed or moving target on land or at sea.”
It also includes GPS coupled inertial guidance and data-link.
Raytheon claims that the munition, though small, can be packed with “shape charge jets, fragmentation and blast charge effects” to destroy a tank.
Program director Alison Howlett said that the munition offers the option of “adding propulsion or swapping out the seeker depending on the mission.”
The missile can also be launched from one platform and controlled from another, “an important capability as the US military aims to connect sensors, platforms and weapon systems across the traditional domains of land, air, sea, and space.”