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US Air Force Buys 1,500 StormBreaker ‘Smart’ Munitions

The US Air Force has awarded Raytheon a $345-million contract to produce and deliver over 1,500 StormBreaker smart munitions.

The contract is intended for the US Air Force, US Navy, and foreign military sale users Norway, Germany, Italy, and Finland.

Work on the 10th production lot is expected to be completed by Augustus 30, 2028.

Currently, two US military aircraft — F-15E Strike Eagle and F/A-18E/F SuperHornet — field the air-to-ground weapon, with tests ongoing to integrate it with the F-35 as well.

The StormBreaker 

The 204-pound (92.5 kilograms) munition’s tri-mode seeker — millimeter wave, imaging infrared, and semi-active laser — enables it to hunt both static and moving targets day or night in all weather.

“Millimeter wave radar detects and tracks targets through adverse weather while imaging infrared provides enhanced target discrimination,” according to Raytheon.

“Semi-active laser enables the weapon to track an airborne laser designator or one on the ground.”

Winged Munition

It features a 105-pound (47.6 kilograms) multimode shaped blast/fragmentation warhead and is capable of prioritizing targets autonomously.

Additionally, its GPS/INS guidance allows post-launch retargeting.

Its wings let it launch and glide from a standoff range of 45 miles (72 kilometers), reducing the risk of exposing the launching platform to adversary countermeasures.

“Fielded on two platforms with testing underway for others, StormBreaker has solidified its place as the leading network enabled weapon across the Department of Defense,” said President of Air Power at Raytheon Paul Ferraro.

“With this contract, we’ll continue to evolve StormBreaker’s production to meet the needs of servicemembers for years to come.”

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