January 21, 2016 (by Asif Shamim) - An F-35 fighter jet from the 461st Flight Test Squadron launched an AIM-9X missile for the first time over the Pacific Sea Test Range on January 12, 2016.
USAF F-35A #AF-1 from the 461st FLTS at Edwards AFB became the first F-35 to fire the AIM-9X missile on January 12th, 2016. [Lockheed Martin photo by Chad Bellay]
The flight sciences aircraft, AF-1, of the Joint Strike Fighter Integrated Test Force, was piloted by David Nelson, the Lockheed Martin chief F-35 test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base.
The AIM-9X is an advanced infrared missile and the newest of the Sidewinder
family of short-range air-to-air missiles carried on a wide range of fighter jets.
The missile was launched at 6,000 feet.
The shot paves the way for the F-35 to utilize the weapon's high off-boresight and targeting capabilities, increasing lethality in the visual arena.