Dec 1, 2014
RAF's F-35 passes key weapons test ahead of 2018 lift-off
However, the deadly-looking weapons are actually trial or 'dummy' ordnance, which are identical in fit and form to their lethal counterparts but incapable of causing damage.
A UK test team including personnel from BAE Systems, has successfully completed initial aircraft handling trials for ASRAAM and Paveway IV weapons on the F-35B.
The 'weapons' were tested on the Short Take-off Vertical Landing (STOVL) F-35B for the first time during a series of flights from the US Navy's test facility.
The RAF already uses ASRAAM air-to-air missiles and Paveway IV - a 500lb weapon capable of taking out a small compound - on its existing combat air fleet. The successful tests are a step towards full integration between the current and future fast jets that will be used by the RAF and the UK's Royal Navy from 2018.
Two F-35B STOVL aircraft, completed nine flights with MBDA's ASRAAM missiles and Raytheon's Paveway IV laser guided bombs..