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StormBreaker Smart Weapon Enhances F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Capabilities With Advanced Bomb Technology

Photo: Aero Time

Raytheon, a subsidiary of RTX, has successfully integrated the StormBreaker smart weapon onto the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter jet of the US Navy.

StormBreaker Smart Weapon Enhances F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Capabilities With Advanced Bomb Technology (Photo: Popular Mechanics)

Unprecedented Capabilities and Strategic Advantages of StormBreaker

In a recent development reported by Aero Time, in November 08, 2023, this strategic collaboration marks a significant enhancement in the Navy’s precision-strike capabilities, offering a versatile solution for engaging a wide array of land and maritime targets. The StormBreaker smart weapon, also known as the GBU-53/B, is an advanced precision-guided munition designed to revolutionize the way military aircraft tackle complex scenarios.

StormBreaker smart weapon introduces a paradigm shift in precision-guided munitions, featuring a multi-mode seeker system that combines millimeter-wave radar, infrared, semi-active laser guidance, GPS, and inertial navigation. This integration ensures unparalleled precision in target tracking and engagement, reducing the dependency on multiple aircraft to engage diverse targets.

With a remarkable range of nearly 70 miles against stationary targets and over 45 miles against moving targets, the StormBreaker smart weapon stands out as a game-changer in air dominance. Paul Ferraro, president of Air Power at Raytheon, emphasizes the digital technology-driven advancements that solidify the relevance of fourth-generation aircraft, underlining StormBreaker smart weapon’s unprecedented capabilities.

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StormBreaker’s Expansion Across Aircraft Platforms

In a recent report published by Flight Global, the StormBreaker smart weapon’s journey extends beyond the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, as it already achieved Initial Operating Capability on the F-15E Strike Eagle in 2022. The compact size of these munitions allows the F-15E Strike Eagle to carry up to 28 GBU-53/Bs, showcasing the versatility and efficiency of StormBreaker in different aircraft configurations.

The ongoing integration testing for all three variants of the F-35 Lightning II further cements StormBreaker’s cross-platform adaptability. Leveraging prior experience with the F-15E Strike Eagle, Raytheon streamlined the integration process with the Super Hornet, marking a historic moment as the latter becomes the first US Navy aircraft equipped with the StormBreaker smart weapon.

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