Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, has completed the first guided release of a StormBreaker smart weapon from an F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, the company reported on Monday.
“StormBreaker is the only weapon that enables pilots to hit moving targets during bad weather or if dust and smoke are in the area," said Cristy Stagg, StormBreaker program director. "Super Hornet pilots will be able to use poor visibility to their advantage when StormBreaker integration is complete.”
With the release, StormBreaker will become the second fighter jet to add the weapon when the program reaches initial operational capability later this year. During the U.S. Navy flight test, StormBreaker safely separated from the jet and successfully received guidance data from the plane, enabling it to be directed to its target while in flight.
StormBreaker has integrated a tri-mode seeker that utilizes imaging infrared and millimeter wave radar in its normal mode. The weapon can also deploy its semi-active laser or GPS guidance to hit targets. The F-15E Eagle is the first platform to add StormBreaker and will also be integrated on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
The StormBreaker smart weapon will enable operators to hit moving targets in some of the worst weather conditions. The winged munition autonomously will detect and classify moving targets in poor visibility situations caused by darkness, bad weather, smoke or dust.
Raytheon Technologies’ weapon seeker will work in three modes to provide maximum operational flexibility, including millimeter wave radar that detect and track targets through weather, imaging infrared to provide enhanced target discrimination and semi-active laser to enable the weapon to track an airborne laser designator or one on the ground.
StormBreaker's small size will enable the use of fewer aircraft to take out the same number of targets as larger weapons that require multiple jets. The weapon can also fly more than 45 miles to strike mobile targets, reducing the amount of time that aircrews spend in harm's way.
Raytheon Missiles & Defense completed development and integration on the F-15E Strike Eagle in April 2018.
About Raytheon Missiles & Defense
Raytheon Missiles & Defense produces a broad portfolio of advanced technologies, including air and missile defense systems, precision weapons, radars, and command and control systems – delivering end-to-end solutions to detect, track and engage threats. Headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, the business generated $16 billion in pro forma annual revenue in 2019 and has 30,000 employees globally. Raytheon Missiles & Defense is one of four businesses that form Raytheon Technologies Corporation.