The F/A-18 is the first approved U.S. Navy aircraft to carry StormBreaker. Building off the knowledge of F-15E fielding, Raytheon was able to reduce the number of required flight tests, saving time and resources to provide this capability to the U.S. Navy.
“The weapon’s unprecedented capabilities provide aviators with the ability to strike targets in difficult and dynamic scenarios,” said Paul Ferraro, president of Air Power at Raytheon. “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.”
StormBreaker features an innovative multimode seeker that guides the weapon by using an imaging infrared camera, millimeter-wave radar, and semi-active laser in addition to, or with, GPS and inertial navigation system guidance. 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 moving land and maritime targets, reducing the amount of time that aircrews spend in harm’s way.
The U.S. Air Force declared Initial Operating Capability for StormBreaker on the F-15E Strike Eagle in 2022, and all three variants of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter are currently in integration testing with StormBreaker.