F-35B drops second GBU-12 over Atlantic test ranges

A Lockheed Martin F-35B short take-off vertical landing(STOVL) joint strike fighter dropped a second weapon at Naval Air StationPatuxent River, Maryland, on December 3, earlier in the week.F_35B_drops_GBU_12_for_first_time_02.jpg


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.”


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