F-35 makes a step towards operational status with first guided weapon drop test

Even if the bomb used in the test did not contain any explosive, the F-35 test team made a new step towards operational status by conducting the program’s first guided weapon test on Edwards Air Force Base Precision Impact Range Area in California, on Oct. 29.

The Electro-Optical Targeting System, or EOTS, enabled the pilot to identify, track, designate and deliver the GBU-12 on target.

The F-35B, the STOVL (short takeoff and vertical landing variant) of the Joint Strike Fighter, released the weapon from its internal weapons bay from 25,000ft. The bomb fell for 35s before hitting the designated target (a tank).

Enhanced by Zemanta
About David Cenciotti 3710 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.