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The F-35 Integrated Test Force recently performed another first-of-its-kind test when the aircraft released a laser-guided bomb against a moving target.
An F-35C being tested here released specially built GBU-12 Paveway II guided bomb over a controlled range at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in the California desert, successfully engaging a small pickup truck March 29.
According to engineer Collin O’Fallon of the 775th Flight Test Squadron, this F-35 weapons delivery accuracy test was the first from an F-35 in the 3F software configuration, which has incorporated new release logic to enhance effectiveness against moving targets, with the objective of reducing pilot workload. O’Fallon is matrixed to the 461st Flight Test Squadron “Deadly Jesters” for the testing.
“This logic is called Lead Point Compute, which in essence, delays the release point of the weapon to ensure the weapon has the available kinematics to guide to and reach the target at its future location,” O’Fallon said.
The system evaluates the speed and direction of the target against the altitude and speed of the aircraft to determine the exact release.