F-35 Drops PGM on a Moving Target With Block 3F Software

F-35 Drops PGM on a Moving Target With Block 3F Software
Lockheed Martin

The Joint Program Office (JPO) for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) has for the first time dropped a Raytheon GBU-12 Paveway II precision-guided munition (PGM) against a moving target using the aircraft's Block 3F software.

The inert drop, which was announced on 20 April, took place at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in California and involved a carrier-variant F-35C from the 461st 'Deadly Jesters' Flight Test Squadron (FTS) attacking a remotely controlled pick-up truck.

As noted by the US Air Force's (USAF's) 412th Test Wing, this event using the Block 3F (full combat capability) software is significant, as it incorporates new release 'logic' to reduce pilot workload and increase effectiveness against moving targets. This logic is called Lead Point Compute, and it evaluates the speed and direction of the target against the altitude and speed of the aircraft to determine the exact release point.

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