F-35 Achieves Live Missile Launch

Nov 01, 2013 No Comments by

Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II executed its first live-fire launch of a guided air-to-air missile over a military test range off the California coast on Wednesday.

The AIM-120 advanced medium range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) was fired from an F-35A (AF-6) conventional take-off and landing variant fighter operating from the F-35 Integrated Test Facility at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The test occurred the same week the F-35, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, dropped its first laser-guided bomb on a target.

The test pilot, U.S. Air Force Captain Capt. Logan Lamping, employed the AIM-120 radar-seeking missile from the F-35′s internal weapons bay against an aerial drone target in restricted military sea test range airspace. Test data and observers confirmed the F-35 identified and targeted the drone with its mission systems sensors, passed the target “track” information to the missile, and launched the AIM-120 from the aircraft to engage the target drone. After launch, the missile successfully acquired the target and followed an intercept flight profile.¬†¬†Moments before the missile was about to destroy the target, a self-destruct signal was sent to the AIM-12 to preserve the aerial drone for use in future tests.

For the complete story by the Air Force News Service, click here.

Photo by U.S. Air Force

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