Live Launch

Posted 30 October 2013
Photo by Paul Weatherman

The F-35 program executed its first live-fire launch of a guided air-to-air missile on 30 October 2013 over the test range off the California coast. The AIM-120 AMRAAM was launched from F-35A operating from the F-35 Integrated Test Facility at Edwards AFB, California. The pilot, Air Force Capt. Logan Lamping, launched the AIM-120 from the F-35's internal weapons bay against an aerial drone target. The drone was identified and targeted using the aircraft’s mission systems sensors. After launch, the missile successfully acquired the target and followed an intercept flight profile.  Moments before impact, a self-destruct signal was sent to the AIM-120 in order to preserve the aerial drone for use in future tests.

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