Paveway Release

Posted 3 December 2012
Photo by Layne Laughter

The first airborne release of an inert GBU-12 Paveway II laser guided bomb from an F-35B was successfully carried out on 3 December 2012. Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burks, flying in test aircraft BF-3, released the weapon over the Atlantic Test Ranges while traveling at 0.8 Mach, or 485 nautical mph, at an altitude of approximately 5,000 feet. This aerial separation tests the safe release of the weapon from its carriage system and its trajectory away from the aircraft. The release was the second for the F-35B, and the fourth overall for the program. To date, pilots flying F-35A and F-35B variants have successfully released a 500-pound GBU-12, a 1,000-pound GBU-32, a 2000-pound GBU-31, and an AIM-120 AMRAAM.

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