F-35 begins integration phase of weapons testing
The F-35 Lighting II, Joint Strike Fighter began the integration phase of weapons testing Oct. 26 at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., 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 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.
Pacific Air Force and the 35th Fighter Wing presented the crew of the Matson commercial container ship Manukai with a gift for helping rescue a downed pilot.
Making its Air Force debut, the first combat-ready HC-130J Combat King II touched down on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.
The 325th Fighter Wing resumed normal flight operations as one of the first F-22 Raptor sorties flew Nov. 19 following an F-22 crash on Tyndall Air Force Base Nov. 15.
Deployed Airmen reached out to students at an Ohio High School via Skype to thank them for care packages the school put together for Veterans Day.