F-35 Drops First Laser Weapon in Test

Oct 31, 2013 No Comments by

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter jet dropped a 500-pound bomb this week, hitting a tank at Edwards Air Force Base in California and marking the first time the new warplane, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, has fired a laser-guided weapon, the Pentagon said Wednesday.

An F-35 B-model jet released the Guided Bomb Unit-12 (GBU-12) Paveway II bomb from its internal weapons bay while flying at around 25,000 feet, successfully smashing into a tank parked on the ground, the Pentagon’s F-35 program office said in a statement. It took 35 seconds to hit the target.

“This guided weapons delivery test of a GBU-12 marks the first time the F-35 truly became a weapon system,” said Marine Corps Major Richard Rusnok, the pilot who flew the plane during the weapons test Tuesday. “It represents another step forward in development of this vital program.”

For the complete story by Andrea Shalal-Esa of Reuters, click here.

Photo by U.S. Navy

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