The U.S. Navy, in partnership with Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, conducted two StormBreaker smart weapon guided test vehicle releases from an F-35B Lightning II at .9 Mach, the fastest release to date from an F-35.
“No other fielded air-to-surface weapon can accomplish what StormBreaker can against complex targets in contested environments,” said Paul Ferraro, president of Air Power at Raytheon Missiles & Defense. “Tests like these continue the progress on integrating StormBreaker into fifth generation platforms in an effort to get this much needed capability to U.S. and allied warfighters as soon as possible.”
During the tests, the two weapons, deployed within thirty minutes of each other, successfully released and performed the required flight behaviors. These two releases complete a seven shot rate capture series, which allows the F-35B test program to move onto the weapon capability testing phase.
StormBreaker features an innovative multimode seeker and powerful, multi-effects warhead, enabling highly flexible and effective target engagement against moving and stationary targets more than 45 miles away. The weapon also provides an increased loadout compared to legacy munitions, creating opportunities to address more targets per sortie.
The U.S. Air Force declared Initial Operating Capability of StormBreaker on the F-15E Strike Eagle in 2022. The program’s integration roadmap includes further expansion to additional manned and unmanned platforms, including the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18 Super Hornet.