Air Force

November 30, 2012

F-35 begins integration phase of weapons testing

Tags:
Laura Mowry and Jess Lozano
412th Test Wing Public Affairs and 461st Flight Test Squadron


EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) — The F-35 Lighting II, Joint Strike Fighter began the integration phase of weapons testing Oct. 26, when the F-35A Conventional Takeoff and Landing aircraft successfully completed the first in-flight test with an AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile.

It was the first time a weapon communicated with the aircraft during flight using a data link.

The program’s milestone rounded out a successful month of flight test for the program, which also included inert weapons separation tests of both the AMRAAM and Joint Direct Attack Munition.

“In October, we were able to begin weapons separation testing with the JDAM and AMRAAM,” said Col. Roderick L. Cregier, 412th Test Wing, F-35 program manager. “We proved we can carry them safely and that the shapes, which matched the exact mass properties of the real weapons, could separate from the aircraft safely. Now, with the integration testing, we’ve initially proved the aircraft can talk to the weapon and that the weapon can talk to the aircraft.”

Prior to Oct. 26, mass models with no internal electronics were used during all F-35 weapons testing. The AIM-120 AMRAAM used during the integration test contained the same electronics as a full-up missile, but without the rocket motor.

“The program is doing very well in meeting its goals after it was rebaselined in 2010,” said Cregier. “I’m very proud of the team, even though testing was incredibly complex and difficult, the hard work of the team enabled it to happen relatively smoothly without any serious glitches that would delay the program. We just pressed right on through with great success and we’re ready for the next phase.”

Successful integration testing, along with the safe separation releases in October, means that the F-35 Integrated Test Force can continue progressing towards the weapon delivery accuracy test phase and live fire testing scheduled to begin in early 2013.

“This was a very important milestone to get us over that hump, to move on to the next phase of the program, which is going to start very soon,” said Cregier. “This success was critical, now what we’re doing is putting the teeth into the F-35. It’s important that the jet can meet all the corners of its envelope, but what we’re really designing it to do is employ weapons.

Starting in February and continuing through the end of April, the team is anticipating releasing roughly two weapons per week, said Cregier.

“This is going to be just the beginning of what I would characterize as the most ambitious weapons integration program in the history of tactical aircraft,” he said.

The F-35A is designed to carry a payload of up to 18,000 pounds using 10 weapon stations. The F-35A features four internal weapon stations located in two weapon bays to maximum stealth capability. The CTOL aircraft can also utilize an additional three weapon stations per wing if required.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey)

9/11 Tower Challenge held at UofA

The Never Forgotten 9/11 Tower Challenge was held at the University of Arizona Football Stadium on Sept. 11. Approximately 350 participants, including personnel from D-M, attempted the challenge of climbing 2,071 stairs. This f...
 
 

Core elements work together

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — The Air Force has built a suicide prevention program based on 11 overlapping core elements that stress community involvement and leadership in the prevention of suicides in the military: Leadership involvement — Air Force leaders actively support the entire spectrum of suicide prevention initiatives in the community. Addressing suicide...
 
 

Keep sports safe

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — Playing sports is fun and it helps people keep in shape and relieve stress. However, if one is not careful, playing sports can result in injuries that keep Airmen on the sideline and out of work. “The main cause of sports-related injuries is over aggressive play and people going...
 

 
DoD

Ice bucket challenge – What does DOD say?

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — If you have been following social media lately, you’ve seen the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge all over your newsfeed and Instagram. This has become an internet phenomenon in which people get doused with ice water to raise money to combat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease....
 
 

Air Force Enlisted Village: Not just a place to live, a place to call home

I first visited the Air Force Enlisted Village as a young first sergeant in 2009, when I was stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. I went to visit with the Tyndall Active Airmen’s Association, Tyndall’s E-1 to E-4 Professional Association, and was amazed at what I saw. This was also the first time I...
 
 

Advise Airmen of rights before asking questions

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — Every day supervisors are faced with challenging scenarios and situations that require them to engage in efforts to help their Airmen. When this engagement is due to a negative act such as theft, damage to property or other possible legal violations, we must resist the instinct to question them...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin