Nov 29, 2014

British F-35B Begins Weapons Testing in the US

In recent test series, US Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II the combined test force configured to carry weapons load operated by the Royal Air Force completed initial aircraft handling trials carrying ASRAAM and Paveway IV weapons. The tests were carried out at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, MD in the USA by a test team including personnel from the UK BAE Systems.
Two F-35B completed nine flights with MBDA’s ASRAAM missiles and Raytheon’s Paveway IV enhanced laser guided bombs. The flights involved different configurations of both weapon types on the aircraft.
The test used ‘dummy’ weapons rounds, which are identical in fit and form to the operational weapons. The aircraft loaded with the weapons were tested on the STOVL aircraft. The initial tests are an important step in integrating weapons onto the F-35B, allowing test pilots to understand how they affect the way the aircraft performs and handles.
The UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF) already uses ASRAAM and Paveway IV on the Eurofighter Typhoon and Panavia Tornado GR4. The successful tests are a step towards full interoperability between the current and future fast jets that will be used by the RAF and the UK’s Royal Navy from 2018.

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