Software and Live Shots

An Air Force F-35A Lightning II recently flew with the next iteration Block 3i software and hardware upgrades required for initial operational capability in 2016, Lockheed Martin announced. The software Block, flown for the first time at Edwards AFB, Calif., on May 27, incorporated a new core processor and roughly 89 percent of the coding required for combat, according to the company. A Marine Corps F-35B fired the first live AIM-120 air-to-air missiles launched from a Lightning II against target drones over the Point Mugu test range off the California coast the same day, according to a company’s May 29 release.The combined F-35 operational and test fleets have logged more than 17,000 total flight hours to date. F-35s supporting the joint schoolhouse at Eglin AFB, Fla., have logged 5,000 flight hours, announced Lockheed. (F-35 software factsheet.)