Raytheon announced today that its GBU-53/B StormBreaker glide-bomb was approved for operational use on the Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet.
The F-15E Eagle is the first platform to add StormBreaker. The Pentagon plans to start fielding the weapon on the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet later this year, followed by the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter with a target set for 2022.
Raytheon completed the first guided release of a StormBreaker from an F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in mid-June. This jet will become the second to add the weapon when the program reaches initial operational capability later this year.
The StormBreaker is a guided bomb with a pair of wings that allow it to glide up to 64km after being released from an aircraft. The bomb gets its name from its ability to fly through bad weather, darkness, smoke or dust.
The 93kg StormBreaker features a tri-mode seeker that uses imaging infrared and millimeter wave radar in its normal mode. The weapon can also deploy its semi-active laser or GPS guidance to hit targets.
The weapon can fly more than 45 miles to strike mobile targets. Its small size enables the use of fewer aircraft to take out the same number of targets as previous, larger weapons that required multiple jets.