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US Air Force completes testing of Joint Strike Missile onboard F-16 fighter

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A US Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon carries a developmental test version of Norway's Joint Strike Missile to its release point above the Utah Test and Training Range west of Salt Lake City. Photo: USAF

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, CALIFORNIA (BNS): The US Air Force's F-16 fighter has completed "a large phase testing" of the Joint Strike Missile (JSM).

The development testing of the weapon built in partnership with Norway was carried out by a team of US Air Force engineers, test pilots, and Norwegian government and industry personnel at the Utah Test and Training Range in the Salt Lake City.

The JSM is Norway's advanced anti-surface warfare missile designed for the new F-35A Lighting II stealth fighter aircraft’s internal weapons bay. The missile can be employed against sea- and land-based targets.

Before proceeding with integration testing on the F-35A, the JSM was tested at Edwards Air Force base on F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 416th Flight Test Squadron, the US Air Force said in a statement.

"The F-16 is a much more proven and mature platform in terms of technology development," said Collin Drake, 416th FLTS JSM project engineer. "The F-35 is still undergoing its own technology development and design iterations, which brings its own challenges. It made it a lot more efficient and effective to use F-16s to be able to test, mid-cycle, a new type of weapon."

The weapon's development programme started at the Edwards AFB in 2015.

The JSM missile system was matured and proven with ground testing, captive carriage testing (flight test missions to ensure the weapon would perform its designed functions prior to being released from the aircraft), and live-drop testing to verify the JSM's ability to safely release from the aircraft and perform its autonomous functions.

The next step is for the Norwegians to integrate the JSM on to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and then on to further weapons and integration testing.

Tags:

USAF  JSM  Norway  F 16  F 35  Missile  
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