Raytheon Missiles and Defense, Tucson, Arizona, has been awarded a $212,701,232 fixed-price-incentive-firm contract for StormBreakerÂ® (SDBII, GBU-53/B) production Lot 7. This contract provides for all up rounds and containers. Work will be performed in Tucson, Arizona, and is expected to be completed Feb. 28, 2025. This contract involves classified Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and is the result of a sole-source acquisition. U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity.
The GBU-53/B StormBreaker, previously known as the Small Diameter Bomb II, is an American air-launched, precision-guided glide bomb. Development was started in 2006 for a 250 pounds (113 kg) class bomb that can identify and strike mobile targets from standoff distances in all weather conditions. It will be integrated on the McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle, F/A-18 Hornet and F-35 Lightning fighters. Its first flight was announced on May 1, 2009. A contract to start low-rate production LRIP was awarded to Raytheon in June 2015.
The shaped charge warhead in the bomb has both blast and fragmentation effects, which makes it effective against infantry, armor (including MBTs), unhardened structures and buildings, as well as boats and other soft targets. The bomb can use GPS/INS to guide itself into the general vicinity of a moving target during the initial search phase, with course correction updates provided using a Link 16 over UHF data link. The bomb has three modes of target acquisition: millimeter-wave radar, infrared homing using an uncooled imaging seeker, and semi-active laser homing
The StormBreaker has been approved for use on the F-15E by the U.S. Air Force’s Air Combat Command. The fielding decision means that F-15E Strike Eagle squadrons can now be equipped with StormBreaker and deployed for missions. A total of 28 GBU-53/B can be carried by the F-15E using seven BRU-61/A suspension units, each carrying four bombs. Eight bombs along with two AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles can be carried in the weapons bay of the F-22 Raptor or the F-35 Lightning II. The F-35 will not be able to operate the bomb until the aircraft receives the Block 4 software package in 2022.