Monday, August 25, 2014
Lockheed Martin’s F-35 on Steady Path to IOC
|An F-35B aircraft. Photo: Lockheed Martin|
[Avionics Today 08-25-2014] The Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program is maturing steadily after a number of flight-test milestones achieved in August, including weapons separation, software compatibility and flight hours.
On its path to Initial Operational Capability (IOC) the F-35A aircraft AF-1 accomplished its 400th flight during a successful GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) aircraft separation test on Aug. 13, at Edwards Air Force Base in California. This was the first GBU-31 Mark-84 (2,000-pound guided munition) separation demonstration from the F-35, although previous GBU-31 separations were with the Bomb Live Unit (BLU) -109 bomb body.
F-35B aircraft BF-1 and BF-4 completed “Mode 4” formation testing on Aug. 9, as required for Block 2B software capability. And the F-35B aircraft BF-3 completed the 2B software fleet release weapon separation requirements with two successful AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) Air Vehicle Instrumented (AAVI) separation flights on Aug. 14 and 15.