Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, has concluded the first guided release of a StormBreaker smart weapon from an F/A-18E/F Super Hornet for the US Navy.
Once the programme reaches initial operational capability later this year, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet will become the second fighter jet to add the weapon.
StormBreaker safely separated from the jet during US Navy flight tests.
While in flight, it successfully received guidance data from the aircraft, enabling it to be directed to its target.
StormBreaker has a revolutionary tri-mode seeker that leverages imaging infrared and millimeter wave radar in its normal mode.
The weapon has the ability to deploy its semi-active laser or GPS guidance to hit targets.
The first platform to add StormBreaker is the F-15E Eagle.
This weapon system has also been integrated with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
StormBreaker programme director Cristy Stagg said: “StormBreaker is the only weapon that enables pilots to hit moving targets during bad weather or if dust and smoke are in the area.
“Super Hornet pilots will be able to use poor visibility to their advantage when StormBreaker integration is complete.”
StormBreaker is the US Air Force’s (USAF) newest weapon with a tri-mode seeker, enabling pilots to hit moving targets in low visibility and extreme weather conditions.
This was the first multi-year contract for the SM-3 programme. It covered fiscal years 2019–2023.