Military Review

Game Rules of the GBU-53 / B StormBreaker Bomb

37

Reset GBU-53 / B from F-15E fighter


Currently, Raytheon Missiles & Defense and the Pentagon are working on integrating the promising GBU-53 / B StormBreaker guided bomb into the weapon systems of various types of aircraft. Already this year new weapon reaches the initial operational readiness (IOC) stage on one of the carriers. Then commissioning with other aircraft is expected.

At the test stage


The development of the future GBU-53 / B StormBreaker bomb (until 2018 the name Small Diameter Bomb II - SDB II was used) started back in 2006 and continued until the beginning of the next decade. After that, the test phase began with flights and dumping from different carriers. Some of these works have already been completed, but others are ongoing.

The first test discharge of SDB II for training purposes took place on July 17, 2012 over the White Sands training ground. The F-15E Strike Eagle booster plane detected the target, transmitted the necessary data to the bomb, and performed a reset. The product used all of its guidance and hit the target with a direct hit.

By the end of 2012, work began on the introduction of GBU-53 / B in the ammunition of F-35 Lightning II fighters of all modifications. During the first tests, it was found that the bomb was placed in the internal cargo compartment of such an aircraft and was able to leave it without any problems. However, flight tests with discharge were not carried out due to the unavailability of weapon control systems.


tests on the F-16 plane

In 2013-15 with the help of F-15E and F-16 aircraft, tests were carried out with the defeat of various targets, with known and unknown coordinates, stationary and moving, etc. Not all discharges were successful, but trials were generally considered successful. According to the results of this phase of work, the first order for small-scale production appeared.

Initial operational readiness


To date, development work on the GBU-53 / B StormBreaker has been completed, the last stages of preparation for the operation of the bomb in the troops are being carried out. At the same time, there are certain problems and delays, due to which the timing of achieving initial operational readiness is again shifted to the right.

In mid-2018, the development company announced the start of experimental military operation of the new bomb on F-15E aircraft. They were going to pass this stage by the fall of 2019 and then reach the IOC. However, last year unforeseen problems were identified with individual elements of the bomb and related equipment, which took time to fix. Then, the schedule had to be revised due to the pandemic and related restrictions.

According to recent reports, the GBU-53 / B as part of the F-15E weapons will enter the IOC stage in the second half of this year. More precise dates are not yet called. The deadlines for completion of the F-16 are also not specified. This is likely to happen shortly after completing current Strike Eagle events.


Suspension of bombs on the holder BRU-61 / A

The F-15E can use the new type of bombs with the BRU-61 / A holders, each of which holds four items. The maximum ammunition load is 28 bombs, but this can adversely affect the composition of other weapons and the corresponding combat capabilities.

In the interests of the fleet


On June 15, 2020, a new test event was held aimed at introducing a promising deck bomb aviation Navy. At the unnamed training ground, the first discharge of the product from the F / A-18E / F Super Hornet fighter took place, followed by a controlled flight and guidance to the training target.

It is reported that the carrier aircraft dropped the bomb and then transmitted the target data to it. According to them, the product carried out preliminary guidance, then detected and hit the specified object. The possibility of effective interaction between the carrier and the bomb has been successfully confirmed.

In the near future, other necessary measures will be taken to introduce the GBU-53 / B into the ammunition of carrier-based fighters. According to current plans, the F / A-18E / F will become the second combat carrier of a promising bomb in the US armed forces - and so far the only one in the Navy.

Fifth generation


The first tests of a GBU-53 / B product with an F-35 aircraft took place in 2012, but such a strike system has not yet reached full-fledged tests or introduction into the troops. Moreover, such work is being postponed, and IOC on F-35 fighters is expected only by the mid-twenties.


To use StormBreaker bombs, F-35 aircraft need to update their weapons control software. The necessary software will appear as part of the expected modernization of Block 4, which they are going to launch in the near future. Only after that will it be possible to begin full-fledged tests. At the next stages, the complex in the form of F-35 and GBU-53 / B will be mastered by the Air Force, Navy and ILC.

The GBU-53 / B bomb will be able to carry F-35 fighters of all three modifications. It is possible to transport such products in the internal compartments and on the external sling. Cargo bays can accommodate up to eight bombs, incl. along with other weapons. Using beam holders under the wing, up to 16 bombs are installed.

Bombs for export


As part of the fifth generation of fighter jets, export deliveries are planned. The first customer could be the UK. In 2016, the Royal Navy chose weapons for its future F-35Bs. A similar contest was held by the FAC, who were about to rearm the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft. In both cases, the GBU-53 / B bomb lost to the MBDA SPEAR 3 missile due to its lower flight performance.

In the same 2016, information appeared about the imminent signing of the US-South Korean contract. The Air Force of the Republic of Korea intends to strengthen the strike capabilities of F-15K aircraft using StormBraker products.


In 2017, negotiations began with Australia. This country plans to purchase 3900 bombs for arming F-35A fighters. Apparently, the implementation of two export contracts will begin in the near future, but not earlier than the start of supplies to the US armed forces.

Technical features


GBU-53 / B StormBreaker is a compact small-caliber guided bomb designed to hit small-sized stationary and moving targets with known coordinates or with approach detection. When developing these weapons, special measures were taken aimed at increasing the likelihood of a successful solution to the combat mission.

The bomb is made in a large elongation housing with a variable cross section. The maximum diameter is less than 180 mm, length 1,76 m, weight 93 kg. There are folding wings in flight and a stabilizer. The head of the hull is given under the homing head, the tail compartment accommodates steering cars. Between them is a high-explosive fragmentation warhead weighing 48 kg.

It is stated that StormBreaker "will change the rules of the game": in one of its combat modes, an air bomb will be able to plan up to a target area up to 45 miles (over 72 kilometers), and then find and attack targets without human intervention. She will be able to hit moving targets, for example, Tanks, even in bad weather, with heavy smoke or in total darkness.
(Writes Forbes.)

StormBreaker is equipped with an original three-component homing head, which increases the likelihood of a successful capture and destruction of the target. The GOS includes an active radar component of the millimeter range, an infrared system and a semi-active laser unit. Using all these means, the bomb is capable of independently or with the help of a gunner to find ground objects in any weather conditions and at any time of the day.


The sequential or simultaneous use of three guidance systems increases the likelihood of hitting a target and, as a result, affects the overall effectiveness of the combat use of tactical aircraft. It was reported that during the tests, 90% of the GBU-53 / B bombs successfully completed their tasks.

The bomb does not have its own engine, but has very high range indicators. Attack of a stationary target can be carried out from a range of up to 110 km. Damage to a moving object requires maneuvering, which leads to the expenditure of kinetic energy and a reduction in maximum range to 72 km. In both cases, the carrier aircraft may remain outside the zone of destruction of enemy air defense.

New opportunities


Together with the promising aerial bomb GBU-53 / B StormBreaker, the Air Force and the US Navy want to get a number of new features. Due to the successful combination of components and characteristics, such a weapon will be able to solve a wide range of problems and will be a good addition to other aviation weapons.

Successful completion of the project offers Raytheon obvious financial benefits. So, the 2015 contract for small-scale production provided for the supply of 144 bombs worth $ 31 million. In a large series, the cost of the product is planned to be reduced to 110-120 thousand dollars, but this is offset by the volume of the contract. Negotiations are underway on export agreements.

However, all the benefits will be fully achieved only after the launch of the full-scale series and the achievement of full operational readiness. The first step in this direction will be made this year - the FOC-15E and possibly F / A-18E / F fighters reached the IOC stage.
Author:
Photos used:
Raytheon Missiles & Defense / raytheonmissilesanddefense.com
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  1. Zaurbek
    Zaurbek 22 June 2020 18: 12 New
    0
    Throw on Shells and TORs and all sorts of C75 dvins and C125. With Mig31, such launch on 2,5M .... how much will fly?
    1. KCA
      KCA 22 June 2020 18: 30 New
      0
      With the MIG-25RB from 20000m, the FAB-500 flew to a range of over 40km
      1. Zaurbek
        Zaurbek 22 June 2020 18: 32 New
        0
        And here is a small caliber and wings
      2. shahor
        shahor 20 September 2020 19: 15 New
        0
        Quote: KCA
        flew at a distance of over 40 km

        It's not just range - the homing system ensures accuracy
  2. eklmn
    eklmn 22 June 2020 18: 40 New
    +1
    Since it promises financial benefits for Raytheon, its shares must be bought ...
  3. Zacvasetskiy
    Zacvasetskiy 22 June 2020 18: 47 New
    0
    And from our window Red Square is visible!
    1. shahor
      shahor 20 September 2020 19: 16 New
      0
      Quote: Zacvasetskiy
      Red Square is visible!

      What is this for you? here we are talking about the bomb ...
  4. ares1988
    ares1988 22 June 2020 19: 13 New
    0
    The author did not specify a very important point: SDBII is not just a smart bomb. This is part of the Golden Horde complex.
  5. Wedmak
    Wedmak 22 June 2020 19: 58 New
    +2
    Here is an example of a really dangerous weapon against our air defense, radar / electronic warfare, artillery. One carrier, 28 bombs. Even the Armor battery will be difficult to beat off, and if 2 carriers carry out the reset, this is guaranteed to defeat, if not the entire battery, then most of it.
    And if you think of investing these bombs in a medium-range missile, they will knock out our air defense systems like nuts nuts. We must seriously worry about how to bring down this two-meter pencil with wings.
    1. Klingon
      Klingon 22 June 2020 20: 55 New
      0
      and beeches are not able to intercept such targets? at least the latest fashion? this winged bomb cannot be too maneuverable, it doesn’t have a mover, it just plans on the target. And on carriers can go S-400 (500)
      in any case, it is necessary to develop air defense against small-sized fast targets with a small EPR (u-bombs, drones, mines, booster smart shells, etc.)
      1. Usher
        Usher 22 June 2020 21: 57 New
        +1
        Quote: Klingon
        and beeches are not able to intercept such targets? at least the latest fashion? this winged bomb cannot be too maneuverable, it doesn’t have a mover, it just plans on the target. And on carriers can go S-400 (500)
        in any case, it is necessary to develop air defense against small-sized fast targets with a small EPR (u-bombs, drones, mines, booster smart shells, etc.)

        There’s a 180mm shell. This is not a fig not a small target. Although small, ZSUs such as Tunguska and Shell should work on them.
      2. +5
        +5 23 June 2020 13: 20 New
        0
        Do you offer a Buk missile to fire at a 93-kg bomb?
  6. bk0010
    bk0010 22 June 2020 20: 04 New
    0
    "Why did Volodka shave off his mustache?" Why was the engine ripped out of the guided missile?
    1. Vicontas
      Vicontas 22 June 2020 20: 12 New
      +2
      To prevent the engine from warming up and was hardly noticeable! And the case was probably riveted from some nitrocellulose so that it would not glow on radars.
      1. Kalmar
        Kalmar 23 June 2020 13: 15 New
        +1
        Quote: Vicontas
        In order not to light the heat of the engine and was hardly noticeable!

        Plus, the filling ratio: with the same total mass of ammunition, more explosives carry than a rocket.
  7. rocket757
    rocket757 22 June 2020 20: 45 New
    0
    Quote: Wedmak
    Here is an example of a really dangerous weapon against our air defense, radar / electronic warfare, artillery. One carrier, 28 bombs. Even the Armor battery will be difficult to beat off, and if 2 carriers carry out the reset, this is guaranteed to defeat, if not the entire battery, then most of it.
    And if you think of investing these bombs in a medium-range missile, they will knock out our air defense systems like nuts nuts. We must seriously worry about how to bring down this two-meter pencil with wings.

    Well, why are there many ... they think they will be allowed to fly up and get bombed ???
    Our air defense, or rather the aerospace defense does not work like that!
    1. Kalmar
      Kalmar 23 June 2020 13: 21 New
      +2
      Quote: rocket757
      Well, why are there many ... they think they will be allowed to fly up and get bombed ???

      Because, as already discussed, far from everyone has long-range air defense systems (in any case, in due quantities). Yes, if there is, they can always be suppressed with the help of PRR, or forced to use up ammunition for false targets (like the same MALD), or something else like that.
      1. rocket757
        rocket757 23 June 2020 13: 46 New
        0
        Quote: Kalmar
        Because, as already discussed, far from everyone has long-range air defense systems

        Let's take a special case! To us, in Russia, someone will dare to pay a "friendly visit" or "mira mission" as they / some say?
        About unfinished, incomplete air defense a hundred times already wrote .... everything is complicated there, everything is different, regarding such an achressor \ "guest", like minke whales, for example.
        Why are there so many who want to pull the same owl on OUR GLOBE ??? I don’t understand where this \ this comes from .....
        1. Kalmar
          Kalmar 23 June 2020 13: 49 New
          0
          Quote: rocket757
          Why are there so many who want to pull the same owl on OUR GLOBE ???

          As far as I understand, the owl was pulling on the Pantsirey battery, which serve not only in our air defense. They, "Armor", are very popular in the Middle East, where democracy is now being imported in very significant volumes.

          It’s clear that in order to get seriously at us, only 90 kg of bombs will be clearly not enough.
          1. rocket757
            rocket757 23 June 2020 14: 04 New
            0
            In order, Schaub it was anti-aircraft defense, it’s not worth it, individual units will be dispersed to where .. I want to.
            There is an application tactic for ensuring the effective operation of the complexes; in another way, this is an empty squandering of equipment and resources.
            There is no such complex of air defense systems that cannot be destroyed, with the proper skill and the availability of proper means of attack.
            There are complexes \ systems which, with the same skill and tactics of use, will effectively fulfill their task ... to destroy them, you will have to pay a heavy price.
            1. Kalmar
              Kalmar 23 June 2020 14: 10 New
              0
              Quote: rocket757
              There are application tactics to ensure the effective operation of complexes

              And for those who have not properly acquired it, as there are discussed GBU-53))
              1. rocket757
                rocket757 23 June 2020 14: 36 New
                0
                I wrote about such ammunition, it did not grow together, a glitch ...
                This is aerobatics among the bombs, they rightfully occupy a leading place in the role of means of destruction of objects with minimal effort, time and money! But, they are not a panacea when they are counteracted by comprehensive air defense, well prepared for tactical reasons and well prepared calculations.
                There is no need to talk about all this there, in the vast expanses of BV and North Africa ... but when they themselves ... dealt with, I don’t think that it is much better now.
            2. businessv
              businessv 24 June 2020 18: 00 New
              +1
              Quote: rocket757
              There are complexes \ systems which, with the same skill and tactics of use, will effectively fulfill their task ... to destroy them, you will have to pay a heavy price.

              I think the same way, colleague! With layered defense, there is little chance of bombing for 100 km from the object. The application is designed for local conflicts that cannot be counted today, so the author writes correctly about
              Successful completion of the project offers Raytheon obvious financial benefits.
              Although the price of 110000 per unit does not seem small, unless a small diamond deposit is at stake. smile
              1. rocket757
                rocket757 24 June 2020 19: 04 New
                0
                There is a price for everything. How the buyer is going to recapture such expenses is his pain in the neck.
                The rule is true for any option, defense or defense.
                It would not seem that defense is more expensive, this is not obvious. Expensive defense can fill up so many means of attack, pull the attacker at such expenses that such an idea would not seem interesting to him.
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  10. domashniy domovoy
    domashniy domovoy 22 June 2020 20: 56 New
    0
    Well what can I say, a great bomb.
  11. Usher
    Usher 22 June 2020 21: 55 New
    -1
    Attack of a stationary target can be carried out from a range of up to 110 km. Damage to a moving object requires maneuvering, which leads to the expenditure of kinetic energy and a reduction in maximum range to 72 km. In both cases, the carrier aircraft may remain outside the zone of destruction of enemy air defense.
    Since when has 110 km become a safe range? The bomb does not perform vigorous maneuvers; it can be shot down.
    1. Klingon
      Klingon 23 June 2020 12: 27 New
      +1
      Maybe the safe zone was calculated for such types of air defense as Patriot, Tor / Shell? But have you forgotten about Buki and S-300/400/500?
  12. Revolver
    Revolver 23 June 2020 04: 31 New
    0
    The bomb is quite wow, but probably not cheap. For point targets that are of some value, it’s all about, and for all kinds of ISIS-type broads, there is too much honor, it’s easier and cheaper to cover the area with outdated bombs using carpet bombing. Moreover, ammunition has an expiration date not infinite, and disposal will cost more than bombing.
    1. Kalmar
      Kalmar 23 June 2020 13: 26 New
      0
      Quote: Nagan
      and for all kinds of ISIS-type broads, too much honor

      Not so long ago, we ourselves ironed the barmaley with "Caliber" and strategic KR (X-101 or something like that)))

      Quote: Nagan
      easier and cheaper to cover the area with carpet bombing with obsolete free-falling bombs

      Cheaper, but not easier, if the recipients of democracy settled in some densely populated area. Crushing civilians into stuffing in such cases, even among amers, is now considered unethical.

      Quote: Nagan
      disposal will cost more than bombing

      And what is there to dispose of? Apply (in battle or in training) as soon as the expiration date approaches.
      1. Revolver
        Revolver 23 June 2020 19: 16 New
        0
        Quote: Kalmar
        Not so long ago, we ourselves ironed the barmaley with "Caliber" and strategic KR (X-101 or something like that)))

        Well, they are regularly used at training sites for training purposes, and to test how they can withstand long-term storage, and probably something else. In this case, they took advantage of the situation to get some other benefit besides checks and training in the use of these tricky ammunition. And both VKS and USAF are using more and more stupid unguided munitions.
        The only one focusing on smart ammunition is Israel, and not from the good life. They have neither B-52 nor Tu-95 and are not expected, so there is nothing to lay the rug with. Again, you have to launch from afar, because in Syria there is still some semblance of air defense, and if air defense is carried out according to all the rules, there will be a lot of stench in the liberal press controlled by the "progressive plague community", and again among those who are the target , there will be an opportunity to fade while the air defense is wet. And finally, if the Jews hook civilians, there will be even more stench, which is why they are trying to be holier than the Pope.
      2. businessv
        businessv 24 June 2020 18: 12 New
        +1
        Quote: Kalmar
        Crushing civilians into stuffing in such cases, even among amers, is now considered unethical.
        Come on, colleague, on the example of the Syrian Raqqi, you can clearly see how Americans treat everyone. For them, people who do not live in America are dust!
  13. +5
    +5 23 June 2020 13: 25 New
    +2
    I don’t even know ..... on the one hand, both 110 km and 72 ranges, it’s from a height of more than 10 km and with high subsonic speed .. although for the sake of advertising both 15000 m and Mach 1,5 could indicate (that F-15 can give them as much as possible, then they painted), i.e. The carrier is never safe, but from medium altitudes (where it is also not safe), the range will be lower at times, i.e. somehow not at all stand-off veapon and 48 kg warheads require a direct or well, a very, very close hit. Those. such an ATGM for an airplane, only without an engine. On the other hand, the price of 200 pieces is not so high and you can hang them a lot and you can try for a not very fast moving target.
    A typical target for the Carapace, especially with the new mini-missiles .... I don’t think that there will be problems with shooting down, the speed is low, consider almost no maneuver.

    Something like SPBE for Tornado turns out ...
    1. Outsider
      Outsider 26 June 2020 08: 58 New
      0
      Typical target if the carrier is not stealth. What about stealth? wink
      1. +5
        +5 26 June 2020 14: 00 New
        0
        With a throwing range of dozens of kilometers - is it absolutely mono-descriptive "stealth" or not ...
        1. Outsider
          Outsider 26 June 2020 19: 47 New
          -1
          If your target is the S-400 air defense system ?! The difference will be huge, "stealth or not stealth"!
          https://exoatmospheric.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/s-400-detection-range.jpg
          1. +5
            +5 29 June 2020 09: 46 New
            0
            Throw out this crazy picture and don’t show it to anyone else. so as not to disgrace
            1. Outsider
              Outsider 29 June 2020 12: 56 New
              0
              It is she who is "delusional" in your mind. In fact, the picture is just lovely. The materiel must be taught, then reality will cease to seem like delirium, and delirium - reality ...