The F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter jet has successfully conducted its first firing trials of the MBDA advanced short range air-to-air missile (ASRAAM). The trials are the first time a British-designed missile has been fired from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and the first time any non-US missile has been fired from the aircraft.
Conducted from both Naval Air Station Patuxent River and Edwards Air Force Base in the United States, the effort has seen both flight trials and air-launched firings of the ASRAAM successfully take place.
MBDA is currently under contract, awarded in 2016, to produce the highly capable infrared (IR) guided air-to-air missile for the UK's F-35s. ASRAAM's large rocket motor and clean aerodynamic design gives it a high kinematic capability that delivers superior end-game performance compared with other countries' in-service IR missiles.
The trials were conducted by the integrated test teams at Patuxent and Edwards, which include Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, MBDA and Northrop Grumman.