Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Raytheon secures $344M deal for StormBreaker smart bombs

The U.S. Department of Defense announced on Friday the approval of a $344 million contract modification for Raytheon, specifically for the StormBreaker (SDBII, GBU-53/B) Production Lot 10.

This contract encompasses additional all-up rounds, containers, and trainers.

The agreement includes Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to Norway, Germany, Italy, and Finland, highlighting international interest in this cutting-edge technology.

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Work on this contract is slated to take place in Tucson, Arizona, and is expected to be finalized by August 30, 2028. The contract has been awarded by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, located at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

Raytheon emphasizes that the StormBreaker smart weapon is a game-changer in combat scenarios, offering a significant advantage by effectively targeting moving objects even in adverse weather conditions. This winged munition possesses autonomous capabilities to detect and classify moving targets, even in situations with limited visibility due to factors like darkness, adverse weather, or battlefield obscurants such as smoke or dust from helicopters.

The persistence of poor weather and battlefield obscurants poses threats to warfighters, as adversaries often exploit these conditions to evade attacks. StormBreaker addresses this need for an all-weather solution, enhancing the capabilities of warfighters when visibility is compromised.

One of StormBreaker’s key advantages lies in its compact size, enabling the deployment of fewer aircraft to achieve the same impact as larger weapons that require multiple jets. Additionally, its operational range exceeds 45 miles, allowing it to engage mobile targets efficiently and reducing the exposure of aircrews to potential threats.

Both the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy have initiated integration efforts for the StormBreaker smart weapon on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft. Moreover, the F-15E has already received official approval for operational use of the StormBreaker, while the Navy announced the Early Operational Capability (EOC) of StormBreaker on the F/A-18E/F in October 2023.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

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