October 31, 2013 (by Bjørnar Bolsøy) - The F-35 has launched an AIM-120 air-to-air missile marking the first live-fire missile test in the program.
USAF F-35A AF-6 launches an AIM-120 AMRAAM missile on October 30th, 2013 at a target drone over a California test range. Pilot was Air Force test pilot Captain Capt. Logan Lamping. [USAF photo]
The test, carried out by an F-35A (AF-6) from the Integrated Test Facility at Edwards AFB
, California, used the F-35s integrated sensors to identify and target an arial drone. The mission systems then passed the target information to the AIM-120
located in the F-35's internal weapon bays and launched the missile, Lockheed Martin informs.
The missile acquired the target and just before impact, self-destruced to preserve the drone for future tests. The test occured just a day after an F-35B performed an air-to-ground weapons test of a 500-pound GBU-12 laser guided bomb.