[Updated] New image of F-35B with an AIM-120C5 missile in the weapon bay

Update Mar. 29, 2012 20.30 GMT

Mar. 22, 2012 not only marked the first night air-to-air refueling: although not widely advertised, on the same day, the F-35B BF-4, during its 100th flight, piloted by RAF Sqdn. Ldr. Jim Schofield, flew with the open weapon bay door for an environmental testing with an (inert) AIM-120C5.

After showing some images of air-to-ground weapons inside the weapon bay, this is the second time a photograph shows an AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile) carried by the 5th generation JSF (Joint Strike Fighter) in the Short Take Off Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant.

The F-35 will be able to carry one AIM-120D (AIM-120C8), an improved version of the BVR (Beyond Visual Range) missile, and a 1,000-lb JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) or LGB in each weapon bay or two AIM-120Ds for each weapon bay (using a trapeze plus ejector to lower the inner missile into the airstream before launch).

Image credit: Andy Wolfe via Lockheed Martin

About David Cenciotti 3840 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.