First F-35A AMRAAM Shot

AF-1, an F-35A test aircraft, completed the first in-flight release of an AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile from the Air Force’s variant of the F-35 strike fighter, announced Lockheed Martin, the aircraft’s prime contractor, on Oct 22. Pilot Maj. Matthew Phillips jettisoned the instrumented AIM-120 over the China Lake test range in southern Calif., from one of the aircraft’s two internal weapons bay during the Oct. 19 test, stated the company. The AMRAAM shot came three days after AF-1 dropped a 2,000-pound joint direct attack munition from its left internal weapons bay, marking the F-35A’s first weapons release.