Guided, gliding and ready to fly

StormBreaker smart weapon heads to production after rigorous testing

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Raytheon's StormBreaker™ smart weapon is a guided, gliding precision munition with a seeker that allows it to track moving targets in low-visibility conditions such as darkness, poor weather and battlefield smoke and dust. (Download high-resolution image)

High above enemy territory, the doors on the underside of a fighter jet swing open, and out drops a winged weapon. It glides toward a rumbling enemy convoy, with a haze of dust and smoke hanging thick in the air.

The pilot can’t see the target. But the StormBreaker smart weapon can.

After years of rigorous testing, the U.S. Air Force has cleared the weapon for initial production and use. What truly sets the guided weapon apart is its seeker, which operates in three modes: millimeter-wave radar, to track targets through any type of weather; imaging infrared, to distinguish targets from other objects; and laser, to follow either an airborne designator or one on the ground.

“From concept to reality, the StormBreaker...capabilities are amazing,” said Raytheon's Jeff White, who heads business development for the StormBreaker program. 

The weapon was built small, so fighter jets could carry more of them. It was also built smart, with a data link that allows the pilot to change targets even as the munition glides toward the ground. 

It can hit targets from more than 40 nautical miles, or 74 kilometers, away, and its warhead can destroy armored targets.

The company believes the StormBreaker smart weapon would prove ideal for U.S.-allied nations around the world, including the United Kingdom, which is seeking to outfit its fleet of F-35 fighter jets. 

Published On: 06/12/2015
Last Updated: 02/19/2019