F-35 Completes Weapons Testing
The F-35 Joint Program Office and Lockheed Martin have completed all F-35 weapons separation and weapons delivery accuracy testing as part of the program’s System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase.
An F-35C conducts a successful weapons separation test with an AIM-9X on Nov. 15, 2017
“Completion of these weapons tests represent a critical step for the entire F-35 team as we demonstrate the game-changing performance of the F-35,” said Jeff Babione, Lockheed Martin Executive Vice President and General Manager for the F-35 program. “The joint government-industry team overcame challenges and showcased outstanding collaboration throughout weapons testing, and the results have given our customer great confidence in the F-35’s weapons capability.”
Since 2012, the F-35 Integrated Test Force has successfully completed 183 separation tests to verify each weapon’s ability to be released and launched from the F-35 airframe, both internally and externally, across the range of the aircraft’s operational speed, maneuverability and altitude. An F-35C conducted the final test on Nov. 15, 2017, with a successful AIM-9X separation.
The team completed 46 weapons delivery accuracy tests to verify that all weapons launched from the F-35 aircraft can effectively strike intended targets with required precision. An F-35A completed the final WDA on Nov. 30, 2017, with internal gun testing.
The 183 weapons separation tests comprised air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, to include the AIM-9X, AIM-120, AIM-132, GBU-12, JDAM, JSOW, SDB-I and the Paveway IV. The Weapons Delivery Accuracy tests comprised the same weapon set, as well as the internal gun and gun pod.
The F-35 has the stealth capability and weapons capacity to infiltrate enemy territory and establish air dominance the first day of combat operations, and to return to the engagement with increased internal and external weapons to complete the mission.
The supersonic, multi-role F-35 represents a quantum leap in air dominance capability. It combines next generation characteristics of radar evading stealth, supersonic speed, and fighter agility with the most powerful and comprehensive integrated sensor package of any fighter aircraft in history.