F-35A Completes First AIM-120 AMRAAM Internal Weapons Release

By on Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

An F-35A test aircraft, flown by U.S. Air Force Maj. Matthew Phillips, completed the first aerial weapons release of an AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile) from a conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) aircraft, Oct. 19.

The aircraft, known as AF-1, jettisoned the instrumented AIM-120 over the China Lake test range from an internal weapons bay.

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 (JDAM) Oct. 16.

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.

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