F-35A Performs First External Weapons Test Mission

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An F-35A Conventional Take-off and Landing aircraft conducted the first F-35 external weapons test mission last week at the Edwards Air Base in California. The mission further push the program’s flight test envelope.

For this mission, the F-35A carried an air-to-air AIM-9X missiles on the outboard wing stations. It also flew with two internal 2,000 pounds guided bombs (GBU-31) and two advanced medium range air-to-air missiles (AIM-120) located in the two internal weapon bays of fighter jet. Four external pylons that can carry 2,000 pounds air-to-ground weapons were additionally mounted to the F-35. However, no weapons were launched during the mission.

The F-35 is a 5th generational multi-role fighter by Lockheed Martin and part of the Joint Strike Fighter family. It is part of the US Air Force most expensive defensive program.

The F-35 was designed to carry up to a maximum of 18,000 pounds load. It has ten weapon stations – four of them are in two internal weapons bay and the other six are located on the wings.

source: www.defensetalk.com, www.dailytech.com

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