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April 24, 2012

F-35A completes first in-flight refueling mission with external weapons

Lockheed Martin photograph by Tom Reynolds
LM-F35-refueling

April 21, a Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II conventional takeoff and landing aircraft completed the program’s first in-flight refueling mission while configured with external weapons at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. George Schwartz piloted the test aircraft, known as AF-4, with two external inert AIM-9X weapons and four external stores. Internally, the jet was carrying two Joint Direct Attack Munitions and two Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles. The two-hour mission tested the flying qualities of the aircraft while maneuvering with external weapons. This test paves the way for weapons separation testing later this year.




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