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  • PICTURE: F-35 Flies With External Stores
    Posted by Graham Warwick 5:55 PM on Feb 20, 2012

    The F-35 has completed its first external weapons flight test, an F-35A CTOL test aircraft flying with AIM-9X air-to-air missiles on the outboard wing stations and unoccupied pylons inboard.

    blog post photo
    Photos: Lockheed Martin

    It's a configuration the JSF program doesn't advertise much, given the design emphasis on the F-35's first-day-of-war stealth mission. But the outboard AIM-9s will carry the high-speed cameras that will be used during upcoming separation tests for the principal internally carried weapons, so the configuration needs to be cleared.

    Lockheed Martin says the F-35A was carrying two GBU-31 2,000lb JDAMs and two AIM-120 AMRAAMs internally on this flight, but did not release any weapons. It's not too evident on these images, but the AIM-9X pylons have an unusual outward kick that mounts the launch rail at an angle to the pylon, presumably to provide adequate clearance from neighboring stores.

    blog post photo

    Tags: ar99, F-35, JSF, tacair

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