On Oct. 16, a conventional take off and landing (CTOL) version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, completed the first weapon drop, releasing a huge 2,000 pound GBU-31 BLU-109 warhead Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM).
Flown by U.S. Air Force Maj. Matthew Phillips, the F-35A AF-1, dropped the bomb over the China Lake test range from the left internal weapons bay.
The F-35A is designed to carry a payload of up to 18,000 pounds using 10 weapon stations, four of those are internal to maximize the aircraft’s stealthiness (obviously, anything carried on the six underwing pylons make the aircraft a bit less radar evading…).
Image credit: Lockheed Martin photo by Matt Short
- Alaska’s F-22 stealth fighter jets became the first operational Raptors to drop GBU-39 small diameter bombs (theaviationist.com)
- Camp Bastion attack could be U.S. Marine Corps Harrier fleet’s ground zero (theaviationist.com)
- There was a time when the F-14 Tomcat was better at bombing Iraqi ground targets than the F-15E Strike Eagle (theaviationist.com)
- Photo: Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft with space shuttle Endeavour taxies by an F-35A at Edwards AFB (theaviationist.com)
- Photo: An F-35A test aircraft flies over Space Shuttle Endeavour at Edwards Air Force Base (theaviationist.com)