Nomads Fire First Missiles
The 33rd Fighter Wing loaded and shot the first air-to-air missiles from an operational F-35A during a weapons system evaluation at Tyndall Air Force Base, Jan. 31, 2017, just two weeks after loading and releasing the first live air-to-ground weapons in Air Education and Training Command.
Individual AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAM) were loaded into four separate aircraft. The three primary missiles were shot successfully, therefore not requiring additional missile fires.
The AIM-120 is an all-weather, beyond visual-range air-to-air munition. It incorporates active radar with an inertial reference unit and microcomputer system making the missile less dependent upon the fire-control system of the aircraft. Once the missile closes on a target, its active radar guides it to intercept. This allows the pilot to aim and fire several missiles simultaneously at multiple targets.