Italian F-35A, F-35B fighters conduct first simultaneous drop of laser-guided bombs

Italian F35 drop laser bombs
Italian F-35A, F-35B fighters drop of laser-guided bombs.

After showing its ability to conduct joint missions with F-35A and F-35B in "Beast Mode" configuration, the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force) took a next step by conducting a simultaneous bomb test mission with both variants.

On January 28, 2021, two F-35As and one F-35B, belonging to the 32° Stormo (32nd Wing), conducted an inert armament release mission at the Polygon of Salto di Quirra (PISQ). The stealth fighters operated from Decimomannu Air Base, Sardinia, where they are currently deployed. The mission also involved personnel from the Reparto Sperimentale Volo (Experimental Flight Department).

This activity, carried out in order to continue the operational training and OT&E (Operational Test and Evaluation) activities with the fifth generation weapon systems, allowed to test the simultaneous release of laser-guided weaponry from F-35A and F- 35B. It also marked the first release of GBU-12 armament by the STOVL variant.

Italian F35 drop laser bombs

The activity was conducted to verify for the first time the ability of the new aircraft and personnel to operate in "Split Ops", ie simultaneously and at a pace sustained from Main Operating Base (MOB) and Deployement Operating Base (DOB).

As underlined by the armed force, the success of the activity was achieved thanks to the teamwork of the men and women of the various departments involved and the excellent coordination of operations.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Source, Images: Italian Air Force

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