An F-35A Lightning II has completed the first in-flight refuelling mission while configured with external weapons.
April 25: On Saturday, April 21, a Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) aircraft completed the programme’s first in-flight refuelling mission while configured with external weapons.
Flying from Edwards Air Force Base in California, US Air Force pilot Lt Col George Schwartz piloted the test aircraft, AF-04, with two external inert AIM-9X weapons and four external stores. Internally, the jet was carrying two Joint Direct Attack Munitions and two Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles.
The two-hour mission tested the flying qualities of the aircraft while manoeuvring with external weapons. This test paves the way for weapons separation testing later this year.