Defense-Update Report: F-35 fighter conducts 1st weapons test

Wednesday’s low altitude test checked the futuristic fighter-bomber drop a 1,000-lb (454 kg) GBU-32 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition)  inert smart bomb • Israel, the 1st foreign country to obtain the advanced stealth jet is expected to be allowed to outfit the plane’s systems with  Israeli technology.

By the Israel Hayom Staff


The F-35 Lightning II fighter jet successfully completed its first weapon separation test on Wednesday (August 8, 2012) on a test flight. The release was the first time for any version of the F-35 to conduct an airborne weapon separation, and the first time a full separation test was performed with a weapon dropped from the internal weapon bay, the Defense-Update website reported Friday.

F-35B test aircraft BF-3 completed the 1st aerial weapons release for any variant of the aircraft. – Photo: Lockheed Martin/Andy Wolfe

Defense-Update, an Israel-based news gathering operation focusing on security affairs, reported that the milestone “marks the start of validating the F-35′s capability to employ precision weapons and allow pilots to engage the enemy on the ground and in the air.”

Israel is set to become the first foreign country to obtain the advanced stealth fighter-bomber, and is also expected to be allowed to outfit some of the plane’s systems with its own technologies.

Wednesday’s test was performed by a BF-3, a short take-off and vertical landing F-35 variant, dropping an inert 1,000-pound (454 kg) GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) separation weapon over water in an Atlantic test range while traveling at 400 knots (741 kph) at an altitude of 4,200 feet (1,280 meters). Aircraft and land-based test monitoring systems collected data from the successful separation, which is in review at the F-35 integrated test force at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Defense-Update reported.

“While this weapons separation test is just one event in a series of hundreds of flights and thousands of test points that we are executing this year, it does represent a significant entry into a new phase of testing for the F-35 program,” Navy Capt. Erik Etz, director of test for F-35 naval variants, told Defense-Update.

(the following clip was NOT part of the above test, rather used in combat by US Forces)

View original Israel Hayom publication (without bottom YouTube video clip) at: