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Lockheed continues F-35 weapons release programme


The F-35A releases the AIM-120 AMRAAM. A Lockheed photo

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE (BNS): An F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) Joint Strike Fighter aircraft has completed the first aerial weapons release of an AIM-120 AMRAAM (advanced medium-range air-to-air missile) during test flight.

The test aircraft, AF-1, jettisoned the instrumented AIM-120 over the China Lake test range from an internal weapons bay on October 19, Lockheed Martin announced on Monday.

This was the second in-flight weapons release in three days for AF-1 as it completed the release of a 2,000 pound GBU-31 BLU-109 joint direct attack munition on October 16, Lockheed said.

The F-35A 5th Generation fighter is designed to carry a payload of up to 18,000 pounds using 10 weapon stations. The F-35A features four internal weapon stations located in two weapon bays to maximum stealth capability.

The CTOL aircraft can also utilize an additional three weapon stations per wing if required, the company said.

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