Jan 15, 2014

F-35 Weapons Tests in 2014 Focus On Amraam

With weapons testing becoming a more regular event for the F-35 program, developers are looking ahead to a fast pace of trials this year to prepare for the first operational use of the stealthy, single-engine fighter by the U.S. Marine Corps in 2015.
Delivering weapons is often described as the “business end” of a fighter's job, and the Marines are planning to declare initial operational capability (IOC) for the F-35B using the aircraft's 2B software release as early as July 2015, and no later than December 2015. Though limited to use of three weapons—the 1,000-lb. GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), GBU-12 500-lb. Laser-Guided Bomb and Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (Amraam) AIM-120 series—the F-35B will surpass the current capability of the AV-8B Harrier jump jet and F/A-18C twin-engine Hornets.

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