F-35 Naval Variants Commence Weapons Testing
Marine Corps Maj. C. R. “Jimi” Clift flies F-35B Joint Strike Fighter test aircraft BF-3 Dec. 19, 2011 with a 1,000-lb inert test GBU-32 in an open internal weapons bay for loads testing. Significant weapons testing for the F-35B and F-35C variants is scheduled for 2012, including fit checks, captive carriage, pit drop and aerial drop tests.
The F-35B is the variant of the Joint Strike Fighter for the U.S. Marine Corps, capable of short take-offs and vertical landings for use on amphibious ships or expeditionary airfields to provide air power to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force. The F-35B is undergoing test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River prior to delivery to the fleet.
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Source : Naval Air Systems Command
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