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SDB and VX-9 feature in new F-35 trials

Photo: AF-06 piloted by Lt Col Chari Raji drops a GBU-39 SDB. Lockheed Martin

 

The F-35 Integrated Test Force (ITF) has revealed details of new weapons trials related to new Block 3F software.

The Edwards ITF recently completed 25 missions comprising of 12 Weapons Delivery Accuracy (WDA) and 13 Weapon Separation Tests as part of a month-long weapon’s firing test surge. Five of the test events featured dropping multiple weapons on the Sea Test Range, an instrumented Pacific Ocean test area off the central coast near Point Mugu Naval Air Station, California, and on the China Lake Weapons Range, California and the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

A total of 30 weapons were dropped or fired, including the Joint Direct Attack Munition, AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile, GPS-guided 250-pound GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb (SDB), AIM-9X Sidewinder and GPS/laser-guided munitions – the latter remains unidentified.

Images released of the trials show that an F-35C, BuNo 168735/CF-08, of VX-9 ‘Vampires’ Det’ Edwards was involved, as was F-35A AF-06, 07-0744, which is seen dropping a GBU-39 SDB.

CF-08 in Block 3Fi configuration drop a GBU-31(v)2 with Maj Corey 'Rufus' Florendo at the controls over China Lake Weapon Impact Range. Lockheed Martin

VX-9-marked CF-08 in Block 3Fi configuration drops a GBU-31(v)2 with Maj Corey ‘Rufus’ Florendo at the controls over China Lake Weapon Impact Range. Lockheed Martin

 

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