Lt Cmdr Michael Burks released an inert 500lbs GBU-12Paveway II laser-guided bomb from aircraft BF-3 over the Atlantic test ranges.Burks was flying at Mach 0.8 (or 485 knots) at an altitude of 5000 ft for thetest.
“Today’s release of the GBU-12 builds on our team’sfirst-ever drop earlier this summer,” says US Navy Captain Erik Etz, flight testdirector for naval F-35 variants.
According to the Navy, this is the second weapons drop forthe F-35B, but the fourth drop for the program as a whole. So far, the F-35 hasreleased the 500lbs GBU-12s, the 1,000lbs GBU-32, the 2000lbs GBU-31 and theAIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM).
“We’re expandingthe envelope for the fleet,” Burks says. “The GBU-12 is a critical weapon inthe F-35′s arsenal and will be vital in our mission to support the troops onthe ground.”