The US Navy has conducted the initial fielding of the StormBreaker “smart” air-to-surface weapon using F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornet multirole combat aircraft.
StormBreaker is a winged precision-guided munition developed by Raytheon to autonomously detect and intercept moving targets in extreme weather conditions.
Previously called the Small Diameter Bomb II, the system uses navigational guidance technologies to effectively neutralize targets.
It can cover over 40 miles (54 kilometers) to reach mobile maritime and land assets, Raytheon wrote.
Maintaining Fourth-Gen Aircraft Relevance
The test followed a similar series with the F-35B Lightning II fighter jet, which seeks the integration of the armament into the US Department of Defense’s fifth-generation military aircraft.
The program commenced in November 2021 and was completed in September 2022.
In October 2020, the US Air Force approved the StormBreaker’s operational capability for F-15E Strike Eagle flights.
“The weapon’s unprecedented capabilities provide aviators with the ability to strike targets in difficult and dynamic scenarios,” Raytheon Air Power President Paul Ferraro stated.
“StormBreaker is a prime example of how we are using digital technologies to deliver advanced air dominance weapons, ensuring the continued relevance of fourth-generation aircraft.”
Recent StormBreaker Contracts
Raytheon secured a $320-million contract in 2023 to supply the US with 1,500 StormBreakers.
The same year, the firm received an order to deliver 500 to support a US foreign military sale to Norway.
A separate contract was awarded to the company in June to supply the Czech Republic with StormBreaker rounds.
In 2021, Raytheon signed a $250-million agreement to provide additional StormBreakers for the US.