StormBreaker approved for use on F-15E Strike Eagle

The Department of Defence plans to start fielding the weapon on the US Navy’s Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet later this year, followed by the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at a later, undisclosed date.

The GBU-53/B StormBreaker glide-bomb was approved for operational use on the Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle on 23 September.

The Department of Defence plans to start fielding the weapon on the US Navy’s Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet later this year, followed by the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at a later, undisclosed date, the US Air Force says on 13 October.

Raytheon stormbreaker

Source: Raytheon

StormBreaker can engage targets in poor weather

The Raytheon-made StormBreaker is a guided bomb with a pair of wings that allow it to glide up to 35nm (64km) after being released from an aircraft.

The 93kg (204lb) bomb gets its name from its ability to fly through bad weather, darkness, smoke or dust. It is able to hit a moving target despite poor visibility by relying on an infrared sensor, millimeter wave radar and semi-active laser, as well as GPS and inertial navigation system guidance.

Operational use of Stormbreaker was delayed a year after flight test failures revealed design problems that required hardware and software changes, the Government Accountability Office disclosed in a June report. Those problems caused Raytheon to halt production of the bomb and to retrofit already-built early production lot examples of the weapon with fixes.