Raytheon Co., one of the world’s largest defense contractors, released a statement on Tuesday saying that U.S. Aor Force F-15E Strike Eagles will receive a new type of smart weapon.
The StormBreaker smart weapon has been approved for use on the F-15E fighter jets by the U.S. Air Force’s Air Combat Command, according to a press release from Raytheon released on 13 October.
The fielding decision means that F-15E squadrons can now be equipped with StormBreaker and deployed for missions, the release said.
“StormBreaker delivers an unprecedented capability to pilots in the field,” said Paul Ferraro, vice president of Raytheon Missiles & Defense’s Air Power business. “The weapon gives airmen a significant advantage – the ability to strike maritime or land-based maneuvering targets at range in adverse weather.”
StormBreaker features an innovative multimode seeker that guides the weapon by imaging infrared, millimeter wave radar, and semi-active laser in addition to or with GPS and inertial navigation system guidance.
“The weapon has proven itself in many complex test scenarios, against a variety of targets in extreme environmental conditions, and is now ready to fly,” said Cristy Stagg, StormBreaker program director at Raytheon Missiles & Defense. “With its multimode seeker and datalink, StormBreaker will make adverse weather irrelevant.”
StormBreaker’s small size lets fewer aircraft address the same number of targets compared to larger weapons that require multiple jets. It can also fly more than 40 miles to strike mobile targets, reducing the amount of time that aircrews spend in harm’s way.
The smart weapon’s initial fielding on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet for the U.S. Navy later this year and integration for fielding on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter are next for the program.