F-35 completes airborne weapons separation test
PATUXENT RIVER, Md., 11 Aug. 2012. A short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B Lightning II has released a weapon in flight while traveling at 460 miles per hour at an altitude of 4,200 feet. The weapon released was an inert 1,000 pound GBU-32 joint direct attack munition (JDAM) separation weapon, and was released over water.
-- F-35 Lightning II integral to defense strategies of myriad governments, says report
-- F-35 program estimated to cost $1 trillion over 55 years
-- Lockheed Martin F-35 weapons load training system delivered to Eglin Air Force Base
Aircraft and land-based test monitoring systems collected data from the separation, which is in review at the F-35 integrated test force at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.
The F-35B is the variant of the Joint Strike Fighter designed for use by U.S. Marine Corps, as well as F-35 international partners in the United Kingdom and Italy. The F-35B is capable of short take-offs and vertical landings to enable air power projection from amphibious ships, ski jump aircraft carriers and expeditionary airfields. The F-35B is undergoing test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River and Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. prior to delivery to the fleet.