Adverse weather conditions greatly limit the capability of pilots to strike moving targets. This has led to the requirement of an all-weather solution that enhances military capabilities without being affected by conditions on the ground or in the air.
Missile maker Raytheon’s StormBreaker bomb will soon provide U.S. Air Force pilots with the capability to strike maneuvering targets when visibility is limited.
The new bomb, formerly known as the Small Diameter Bomb II or SDB II bomb, can glide for more than 45 miles while carrying a warhead to strike moving targets. This means that aircrews will spend less time flying dangerous missions.
The StormBreaker tri-mode seeker uses imaging infrared, millimeter wave, and semi-active laser. When fired from fighter jets thousands of feet up, the new weapon can penetrate bad weather to attack moving and stationary targets on the ground.
Small, but deadly!
The StormBreaker bomb weighs just over 200 pounds. It is 70 inches long and only seven inches in diameter. Its small size allows fewer aircraft to take out the same number of targets as larger weapons that require a greater number of aircraft.
Raytheon completed development and integration of the StormBreaker on the F-15E Strike Eagle in April 2018. It is planned to be integrated onto the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter by 2022.