The F-35 Joint Program Office say they have completed all F-35 weapons separation and weapons delivery accuracy testing as part of the System Development and Demonstration phase.

“Completion of these weapons tests represent a critical step for the entire F-35 team as we demonstrate the game-changing performance of the F-35,” said Jeff Babione, Lockheed Martin Executive Vice President and General Manager for the F-35 programme.

“The joint government-industry team overcame challenges and showcased outstanding collaboration throughout weapons testing, and the results have given our customer great confidence in the F-35’s weapons capability.”

Since 2012, the F-35 Integrated Test Force has successfully completed 183 separation tests to verify each weapon’s ability to be released and launched from the F-35, both internally and externally, across the range of the aircraft’s operational speed, maneuverability and altitude. An F-35C conducted the final test in November with a successful AIM-9X separation say the company.

According to Lockheed, the team completed 46 weapons delivery accuracy tests to verify that all weapons launched from the F-35 aircraft can effectively strike intended targets with required precision.

“An F-35A completed the final WDA on Nov. 30, 2017, with internal gun testing.

The 183 weapons separation tests comprised air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, to include the AIM-9X, AIM-120, AIM-132, GBU-12, JDAM, JSOW, SDB-I and the Paveway IV.

The Weapons Delivery Accuracy tests comprised the same weapon set, as well as the internal gun and gun pod.”

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Mr Bell
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Mr Bell

Good this represents IOC for F35B. Time to get them on the QE and ramp up the ordering. FAA/ RAF needs at least another 48 active aircraft.

joe
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joe

They aren’t remping up purchases though.
3 were ordered in Lot-10 & just 1 solitary aircraft was ordered as part of Lot-11!

This might be a good thing though as Block-4 is where the UK’s units will come into their own…. so I wouldn’t go crazy ordering a lot seeing as they will all have to be upgraded at a cost to the MoD.

Fedaykin
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Fedaykin

It makes sense to buy the bulk of Airframes from Block 4 on, that way we won’t have to spend money adding features or rectifying issues.