(Reuters) - Missile maker Raytheon Co said its StormBreaker bomb has entered operational testing phase, bringing it a step closer to provide U.S. Air Force pilots the capability to strike maneuvering targets in adverse weather.
StormBreaker, Formerly called the Small Diameter Bomb II, enters the phase after completing a successful Operational Test Readiness Review in Spring 2018, Raytheon said.
The bomb will be fielded first on the F-15E Strike Eagle, and is planned to be integrated onto the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter by 2022, Raytheon said.
The StormBreaker tri-mode seeker uses imaging infrared, millimeter wave and semi-active laser, giving pilots the ability to destroy moving targets on the battlefield in adverse weather conditions from standoff ranges.
The weapon is capable of flying more than 45 miles to strike mobile targets, reducing the amount of time that aircrews spend flying dangerous missions. Its small size enables the use of fewer aircraft to take out the same number of targets as previous, larger weapons that required multiple jets, according to Raytheon.
Reporting by Rishika Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier