The Norwegian government will procure the StormBreaker smart weapon developed by Raytheon Missiles & Defense from the US Air Force.
Preparations have already begun to integrate the “network-enabled weapon” into the Royal Norwegian Air Force’s fleet of F-35 jet fighters.
“We see StormBreaker as an essential component in achieving the full operational capability of our F-35 fleet,” Brig. Gen. Sigurd Fongen said.
“The weapon will bring significant capability against stationary and moving targets at stand-off ranges, further enhancing the Norwegian Air Force’s ability to maintain national and regional security alongside our allies,” the Norwegian Defence Staff F-35 project office head added.
The StormBreaker employs a tri-mode seeker with imaging infrared and millimeter-wave radar that sees “through fog, smoke and rain to glide over 45 miles (72 kilometers)” and strike land and see targets, Raytheon states.
The company claims that the munition, packed with “shape charge jets, fragmentation, and blast charge effects,” can destroy a tank.
The weapon allows the options of “adding propulsion or swapping out the seeker depending on the mission.” It can also be launched from one platform and controlled from another.
Raytheon claims on its website that the StormBreaker smart weapon provides pilots with “an upper hand in combat” through its ability to strike moving and stationary targets “in some of the worst weather conditions.”
The munition detects and classifies targets autonomously “in poor visibility situations caused by darkness, bad weather, smoke or dust.”
President of Air Power for Raytheon Missiles & Defense Paul Ferraro asserted that “StormBreaker delivers a unique combination of power, precision, and operational flexibility to the joint and allied fight.”
Currently deployed with the US Air Force’s F-15E Strike Eagle, the StormBreaker has been tested with various live drops and weapons evaluations.
Operational testing of the weapon on the US Navy’s F-18 Super Hornet is currently underway. At the conclusion of testing, the service will declare initial operating capability.
The weapon is also undergoing integration with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, as well as manned and unmanned platforms.