On March 26, the F-35B Lightning II became the first F-35 variant to complete airborne weapons separations on three different munitions, the most of any model. Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burks released an AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile from BF-3 over water in the Atlantic Test Ranges. The F-35B is the variant of the Lightning II designed for use by the U.S. Marine Corps, as well as F-35 international partners in the United Kingdom and Italy. The F-35B is capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings to enable air power projection from amphibious ships, ski-jump aircraft carriers and expeditionary airfields. The F-35B is undergoing flight test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River, Md., and Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., prior to delivery to the fleet.
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