The F-35 Lightning II program made aviation history as Royal Air Force (RAF) test pilot Squadron Leader Andy Edgell released two inert 500 lb dual mode Paveway IV precision-guided bombs from aircraft BF-03 over the Atlantic Test Ranges.
The inaugural weapons separation test of the Paveway IV, conducted by the F-35 Lightning II Integrated Test Force (ITF), was a milestone for the Royal Navy and RAF F-35 program. The test brought together the multi-role short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter and the Paveway IV, an advanced weapon that equips the Royal Navy and RAF with a state-of-the-art, all-weather inertial navigation and GPS-guided bombing capability, the first dual-mode bomb operational on the F-35 Lightning II.
The inert bombs safely separated from an internal weapons bay within the F-35B maintaining the stealth characteristics of the aircraft.
The UK is the only Level 1 partner with the USA on the joint, multinational acquisition to develop and field an affordable, highly common family of next generation strike fighter aircraft for the US Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, and eight international partners.
The F-35 Lightning II Pax River ITF joint team, assigned to the Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (VX-23) aboard Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland, USA, released two Paveway IV bombs during the flight.
June 22, 2015