RTX awarded $345 million for 1,500 StormBreaker bombs

By Shelley K. Mesch / January 9, 2024 at 11:45 AM

The Defense Department awarded RTX a $345 million contract to produce 1,500 StormBreaker bombs, some of which will be sold in foreign military sales.

The GBU-53/B bombs, previously called Small Diameter Bomb II, will be purchased primarily by the Air Force, according to a DOD announcement last month. Breaking down the funding at the time of the award, $284.5 million comes from the Air Force, $58 million from the Navy and $2.1 million from foreign military sales.

DOD expects the bombs will be delivered by the end of August 2028.

The StormBreaker bombs are fielded on the F-15 Eagle and F/A-18E/F SuperHornet, and testing is underway to field on each of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter variants, according to an RTX news release.

The Joint Program Office expects the bombs to reach initial operational capability on the F-35 in fiscal year 2025, spokesman Russ Goemaere said.

The StormBreaker program was at risk in 2022 when the manufacturer of a needed microchip announced it would cease production. RTX spokeswoman Alyssa Shaffer said the program was able to purchase all of the needed chips, which are used to integrate the military M Code GPS signal.

Unit costs for the bomb increased by more than 20%, above the Nunn-McCurdy significant cost threshold, triggering a notice to Congress in 2022. The program has since been rebaselined, according to FY-24 budget request documents.