First inflight weapon release for F-35A
An F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) aircraft, completed the first in-flight weapons release of a 2,000 pound GBU-31 on 16 October 2012. The flight was conducted by U.S. Air Force Maj. Matthew Phillips. The aircraft, known as AF-1, jettisoned an instrumented GBU-31 over the China Lake test range from the left internal weapons bay.
The F-35A fighter is designed to carry a payload of up to 18,000 pounds using 10 weapon stations. The F-35A features four internal weapon stations located in two weapon bays to maximize stealth capability. It can also utilize an additional three external weapon stations per wing if required.
A second drop was carried out on October 19.