Raytheon Missiles & Defense and the USN recently completed the first guided release of its StormBreaker smart munition from an F/A-18E/F SUPER HORNET – the second combat aircraft (after the F-15E EAGLE) to add the weapon to its inventory when the programme reaches initial operating capability later this year.

"StormBreaker is the only weapon that enables pilots to hit moving targets during bad weather or if dust and smoke are in the area," said Cristy Stagg, StormBreaker Program Director. "SUPER HORNET pilots will be able to use poor visibility to their advantage when StormBreaker integration is complete."

During the USN flight test, StormBreaker safely separated from the jet and successfully received guidance data from the plane, enabling it to be directed to its target while in flight. StormBreaker features a revolutionary tri-mode seeker that uses imaging infrared and millimetre wave radar in its normal mode. The weapon can also deploy its semi-active laser or GPS guidance to hit targets.

As well as the F/A-18E/F and F-15E, StormBreaker is due to be integrated on the F-35 LIGHTNING II. (Photo: Raytheon)

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