GBU-49 Dropped from F-35A for the First Time during Training
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Florida, the USA (BulgarianMilitary.com) – The GBU-49 precision bomb made by Raytheon was dropped for the first time from the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II in combat training at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, learned BulgarianMilitary.com
Lt Col Matthew Johnston commented, “Like any new weapon, what we learned, and what we will learn as we continue to train with the GBU-49, will directly impact our tactics and will make the F-35A even more lethal.”
The test was conducted on 7th November 2018 by the US Air Force (USAF) 388th Fighter Wing’s 34th Fighter Squadron, stationed at Hill AFB, Utah. According to the service, during the combat training, weapons crews, maintainers, and pilots were assessed on their ability to build, load, and drop the weapons.
USAF F-35A pilots are being trained in dropping of the GBU-49 bomb in flight simulators at Hill AFB, however continued live trainings are part of the plans for refining their tactics and techniques. As reported by the United States Air Force, further training on the Utah Test and Training Range with live and inert GBU-49 bombs will be soon organized.
The GBU-49 bomb is Raytheon’s Enhanced dual-mode GPS and Laser guided version of the laser-only GBU-12 bomb. Therefore, it is a converted “dumb” bomb, which is guided to its target through a laser and GPS. The precision weapon can be used against moving or stationary targets in a variety of weather conditions.
The F-35 Lightning II of Lockheed Martin is a family of single-seat, single-engined, all-weather stealth multirole fighters. The fifth-generation combat aircraft is developed for ground-attack and air-superiority missions. Its main models are three: the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant, the F-35B short take-off and vertical-landing (STOVL) variant, and the F-35C carrier-based catapult-assisted take-off but arrested recovery (CATOBAR) variant.
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