The U.S. Air Force has begun the process of integrating the StormBreaker smart weapon into its F-35 Joint Striker aircraft and recently conducted a crash test. it is said in a press release from weapons manufacturers, Raytheon Missiles and Defense.
The StormBreaker, known for its development as the Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) II, is an air-launched sliding bomb. Bad weather, smoke or dust can be used by opponents as a cover for fighter weapons. That’s why the US military was interested in a weapon that could work even in bad weather.
Raytheon’s proposal for such a weapon was a small bomb no more than seven inches (18 cm) wide, 69 inches (176 cm) long and weighing just over 200 pounds (93 kg). Due to its relatively small size, the US military can pack up to 20 such weapons on one F-15E Strike Eagle.
Adding to StormBreaker’s firepower are the various capabilities of its warheads. According to the press release, StormBreaker is equipped with “charge-shaped jets, fragmentation and explosive charge effects. “This essentially means that the bomb can be used against a wide range of targets, ranging from infantry to structures, armor, and patrol boats. Raytheon also boasts an additional intelligent retarder, which is powerful enough to blow up a tank.
it is the search engine with three modes this makes the SDB II, the StormBreaker it claims to be. Equipped with an infrared image and a multimeter wave radar, the weapon can search for its targets in fog, smoke and even torrential rain. It can then use data from a semi-active laser or GPS based guidance systems to identify its purpose. Users also have the option of a semi-autonomous mode, in which the weapon can use the data to classify and prioritize potential targets before hitting them.
With a range of 45 miles (72 km) for both stationary and moving targets, fighters can aim at their targets from safe distances without entering high-risk areas. Thanks to its networking capabilities, the weapon can be launched and then transferred to another platform to complete the mission, Raytheon said.
Last year, the U.S. Air Force authorized StormBreaker to use the F-15 and initiates the tests of the F / A-18E / F Super Hornets, who are next in line to receive the weapon. The test for the descent of the F-35 was to check the communication link between the weapon and the secondary aircraft, Raytheon said in a press release.
As workhorses for the U.S. military in the near future, the F-35 definitely needs such a versatile weapon.