F-35 launches AIM 120 missile. Lockheed Martin photo by Matthew Short
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- An F-35A on Wednesday completed the first in-flight missile launch of an AIM-120 over the Point Mugu Sea Test Range. It paves the way for targeted launches in support of the Block 2B fleet release capability later this year. The F-35A is designed to carry a payload of up to 18,000 pounds using 10 weapon stations. It features four internal weapon stations located in two weapon bays to maximize stealth capability, and can also utilize an additional three external weapon stations per wing if required. (Source: Military.com, Defense News blog, Lockheed Martin, 06/07/13) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 training center.