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.


 
 

 

What to know before you go to the open house

More than 200,000 people are expected to attend the “Thunder and Lightning over Arizona” Air Show and Open House April 12 and 13. The event is open to the public and admission is free. It is two days of nonstop entertainment, but a few tips can help make the experience more pleasurable for guests. Traffic...
 
 

D-M Airman defuses situation downrange

One of the biggest defense mechanisms of any expeditionary air base is the ability to launch aircraft to neutralize threats. Several 380th Air Expeditionary Wing agencies are charged with getting air operations back up and running as soon as possible should the flightline or runway be attacked. The 380th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal...
 
 
wall

The writing on the “Walls”

The “Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona” open house will feature many showcases, mostly centered on aerial displays. But one exhibit takes us from the skies to the ground and across thousands of miles to the sands of Iraq, ...
 

 

Will Allen: The Flying Tenor

Combining his vocal talents with his flying, Will Allen as “The Flying Tenor” brings a new type of air show performance that will stir your soul. Will sings the national anthem live from the cockpit of his Pitts bi-plane while flying an aerobatic routine that has been choreographed to harmonize with the cadence and crescendos of the...
 
 
DesertRat

Desert Rats

The “Desert Rats” Warbird Demonstration Team makes a high-speed run past each other in their CJ-6A Chinese basic pilot trainer aircraft. The CJ-6 aircraft, designed in 1958, are still flown today by China’s People’s Lib...
 
 
USAFBlue

USAFA Wings of Blue

Each year, the Wings of Blue Demonstration Team performs at more than 50 special events in front of over 2 million spectators. Demonstration venues include airshows, NFL and College football games, and special events across the...
 




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