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.


 
 

 

Maintenance versus repair … of our Airmen

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. (AFNS) — This commentary is not about aircraft, vehicles, or even any mechanical components. It’s about our Airmen and how we manage their care and development throughout their careers. The maintenance versus repair concept is borrowed from the maintenance community and speaks to how maintenance managers plan, coordinate and...
 
 
DT_pict1

354th Bulldogs improve in-flight sight

A-10C Thunderbolt II pilots of the 354th Fighter Squadron Bulldogs began flying with a new helmet mounted integrated targeting system. The Scorpion Helmet Mounted Cueing System provides pilots with the ability to rapidly cue se...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Lynsie Nichols)

Your estimated wait time is…

Did you call the Enterprise Service Desk yesterday, but you’re still on hold today? The Communications Squadron will be uploading the Virtual Enterprise Service Desk application to computers base wide. 1st Lt. Brooke Leigh, ...
 

 

Face of Defense: Shooting victim seeks to inspire others

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON – An Army officer who was severely wounded in a shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, last year is using his near-death experience to give others a new lease on life. “I believe I was given a second chance,” said 1st Lt. John Arroyo, who is recovering at Brooke Army...
 
 
AFAS_pict

AFAS steps up with education programs

Education can be a key to succeeding in life, especially for military members looking to make the Air Force a career. The costs associated with getting an education are on the rise, but the Air Force Aid Society can help take s...
 
 
Fuel_pict

Exchange offers full-service refueling to drivers with disabilities

DALLAS – The Army & Air Force Exchange Service, with the support of U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, is adding a new system to gas stations on military installations worldwide to make it easier for drivers with dis...
 




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