An F-35A test aircraft, flown by U.S. Air Force Maj. Matthew Phillips, completed the first aerial weapons release of an AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile) from a conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) aircraft, Oct. 19. The aircraft, known as AF-1, jettisoned the instrumented AIM-120 over the China Lake test range from an internal weapons bay. This was the second in-flight weapons release in three days for AF-1 as it completed the release of a 2,000 pound GBU-31 BLU-109 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) Oct. 16. The F-35A 5th Generation fighter is designed to carry a payload of up to 18,000 pounds using 10 weapon stations. The F-35A features four internal weapon stations located in two weapon bays to maximum stealth capability. The CTOL aircraft can also utilize an additional three weapon stations per wing if required.
Source/Author: Lockheed Martin
Photo: Lockheed Martin