Pilots launched from the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp to rehearse Combat Air Patrol missions with the F-35B, carrying and employing a live AIM-9X Sidewinder.

This firing, say the US Marine Corps, marked the first operational F-35B live-fire of the AIM-9X missile in the Indo-Pacific region while conducting blue-water flight operations.

“The rehearsal was in conjunction with the hot reload of ordnance including GBU-12 Paveway II Laser-Guided Bombs and GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munitions, and 25-mm ammunition with a GAU-22 cannon.

The air-to-air missile drill validated weapons assembly and loading procedures on the flight deck of the ship and showcased the F-35B’s flexibility to offensively engage airborne targets. The missile targeted and successfully engaged LUU-2 flares dispensed out of an MV-22B Osprey during flight operations.”

According to Maj. Jeffrey Davis, F-35B detachment officer-in-charge with VMM-265 (REIN) in a release:

“The 31st MEU regularly conducts F-35B Combat Air Patrol rehearsals and is fully prepared to maintain aerial dominance against any threat,” said Col. Robert Brodie, 31st MEU commanding officer. “Our successful live-fire employment of the AIM-9X further exemplifies our preparedness to ‘fight and win’ against any adversary in any arena.”

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It’s crazy how long testing and the like goes on with new aircraft, it probably never stops. But back in the day it didn’t take this long to get jets operational with all or most weapons available to it did it?


Couldn’t agree with you more. This is pathetic. Must be lots of negative news they’re trying to swamp.


Back in the day you only had radar with a CRT display and two missiles (on the EE Lightning). Everything else was mechanical or hydraulic and based on decades of experience. So yeah, it didn’t take as long. Yet even the EE Lightning had a long gestation period before it was considered fully ready for frontline service. For it’s time, it was cutting edge technology, and supersonic flight was still in its infancy as was missile technology. Today’s Lightning II has Fly by wire, multiple computers, millions of lines of programming language, can carry a multitude of different sensors, weapons,… Read more »

Patricia Spafford Desmier

Exactly everything today is at the cutting edge of technology whereas in time gone by such technology wasnt in the field of discussion as much as it is today.We must grasp at every step that is taken to keep ourselves still at the cutting edge.Its the only way to stay at the front.


The LUU-2 is a parachute flare, normally used for illuminating a target. It has a four minute burn time.
The AIM-9X uses an imaging infrared focal plane array. Normally this type of seeker will ignore a flare. As it is only a single point heat source. However, the missile is data linked so the pilot can more or less control its targeting. Which is why it could remain targeted on the flare.


I am starting to become concerned with the F35. I have been watching a fairly good tv program about RAF Valley and pilot training, including training on the F35. Some issues have become apparent to me 1) The pilots helmet. It is especially fitted at the cost of $250,000 each. Yet my question is what happens when one becomes damaged, does that mean that the pilot is no longer able to fly until he or she gets a new one. If so how long would that take. Or do they get two issued incase one fails. 2) I also noticed… Read more »