Raytheon, a business unit of RTX, has officially announced that the U.S. Navy has successfully integrated the cutting-edge StormBreaker smart weapon onto the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft.
This milestone marks the F/A-18 as the first approved U.S. Navy platform to carry the StormBreaker, a significant step in advancing the capabilities of naval aviation.
Leveraging the knowledge gained from the StormBreaker’s fielding on the F-15E, Raytheon achieved a remarkable reduction in the number of required flight tests. This streamlined process has not only expedited the integration but has also conserved valuable time and resources, ultimately benefiting the U.S. Navy.
Paul Ferraro, President of Air Power at Raytheon, emphasized the game-changing potential of the StormBreaker. He stated, “The weapon’s unprecedented capabilities provide aviators with the ability to strike targets in difficult and dynamic scenarios. StormBreaker is a prime example of how we are using digital technologies to deliver advanced air dominance weapons, ensuring the continued relevance of fourth-generation aircraft.”
The StormBreaker boasts a groundbreaking multimode seeker that enables precise guidance through a combination of technologies, including an imaging infrared camera, millimeter-wave radar, semi-active laser, GPS, and inertial navigation system guidance. This innovative combination of sensors ensures the weapon’s accuracy and versatility, making it highly effective in various operational scenarios.
One notable advantage of the StormBreaker is its compact size, enabling fewer aircraft to engage the same number of targets compared to larger munitions, which often require multiple aircraft. Additionally, its operational range extends beyond 40 miles, allowing it to effectively engage moving land and maritime targets, thereby reducing the exposure of aircrews to potential threats.
The U.S. Air Force had previously declared Initial Operating Capability for StormBreaker on the F-15E Strike Eagle in 2022. Currently, all three variants of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter are undergoing integration testing with StormBreaker, further underscoring its significance in modern air warfare.