Defense

April 19, 2012

F-35 team hits weapons testing mark

Tags:
by Victor Chen
NAS Patuxent River, Md.
Lockheed Martin photograph by Andy Wolfe
Lockheed Martin test pilot Dan Levin flies F-35B test aircraft BF-2 with external weapons pylons for the first time. The test measured flying qualities with external pylons, inert AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles and centerline 25 mm gun pod. The F-35B is the U.S. Marine Corps variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings for use on amphibious ships or expeditionary airfields to provide air power to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force. The F-35B is undergoing test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River before delivery to the fleet.

The F-35 Integrated Test team at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., announced April 16 the completion of a weapons testing milestone.

The ejection of a 500-pound bomb from F-35B test aircraft BF-3 March 29 into a foam-covered concrete pit marked the end of two weeks of testing nine different weapons combinations inside the Joint Strike Fighter’s two internal weapons bays.

“Completion of these weapons ejections into the pit gets us closer to in-flight release of weapons from the F-35,” said Navy Capt. Erik Etz, director of test and evaluation for F-35 naval variants. “It’s another step in expansion of the F-35′s war fighting capabilities.”

Weapons pit-drop testing collects data to measure stresses on the airframe and adjacent stores, ensures proper weapon and suspension equipment function, and validates the separation models for the munitions’ ejection characteristics, including trajectories and velocities.

“We pushed the team pretty hard on those runs to get everything done,” said John Fahnestock, lead government weapons engineer. “We’ll spend some time going through the data to validate our models, but so far it looks good.”

From the cockpit, the pit drops demonstrated minimal effects of weapons launches from the F-35B’s left and right internal bays.

“Having the test weapons on board isn’t really noticeable from the seat,” said Marine Corps test pilot Lt. Col. Matthew Taylor. “But what’s great about the team’s accomplishment is that we’re making progress toward delivering a war fighting aircraft to the fleet.”

Testing included inert versions of the GBU-12 Laser-Guided Bomb, the 1,000-pound GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munition and the AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile.

More weapons testing on the F-35B and F-35C carrier variant is ongoing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. Current test events including pit drops, captive carry and instrumented weapons environmental flights, lead up to flight separation testing scheduled for later this year.

The F-35B variant of the Joint Strike Fighter for the U.S. Marine Corps is capable of short take-offs and vertical landings for use on amphibious ships or expeditionary airfields to provide air power to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force. The F-35B is undergoing test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River prior to delivery to the fleet.




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


 
 

 
Navy photograph

Navy to commission submarine North Dakota

Navy photograph The PCU North Dakota (SSN 784) during bravo sea trials. The crew performed exceptionally well on both alpha and bravo sea trials. The submarine North Dakota is the 11th ship of the Virginia class, the first U.S....
 
 
Army photograph by David Kamm

Army advances technology at Base Camp Integration Laboratory

Army photograph by David Kamm Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, listens as Bob Graney explains details of the energy-efficient rigid-wall shelter system, Oct. 22, 2014...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Wesley Farnsworth

New application aims to improve analyst’s performance

Air Force photograph by Wesley Farnsworth 1st Lt. Kristin Spencer, 711th Human Performance Wing behavioral scientist, watches a video for suspicious behavior during a demonstration of a new Enhanced Reporting, Narrative Event S...
 

 
navair-triton2

Triton UAS completes second transcontinental flight across the U.S.

  The second of three MQ-4C Triton test aircraft makes its debut at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., Oct. 24 after completing its inaugural cross-country flight from Northrop Grumman’s Palmdale, Calif., facilit...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Taylor Curry

Wolf Pack soars at RED FLAG-Alaska 15-1

Air Force photograph by SrA. Taylor Curry South Korea air force pilots prepare to taxi their KF-16 Fighting Falcons to the runway during Red Flag-Alaska 15-1 Oct. 17, 2014, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. This field training...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

Upgrades ‘new normal’ for armor in uncertain budget environment

Courtesy photograph The current Paladin is severely under-powered and overweight so its speed of cross-country mobility is pretty restricted. The Paladin Integrated Management program is designed to address a number of these we...
 




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>