An F-35 Lightning II fighter jet from the 461st Flight Test Squadron launched an AIM-9X missile for the first time over the Pacific Sea Test Range January 12.

The flight sciences aircraft, AF-1, of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Integrated Test Force, was piloted by David Nelson, the Lockheed Martin chief F-35 Lightning II test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

The AIM-9X is an advanced infrared missile and the newest of the Sidewinder family of short-range air-to-air missiles carried on a wide range of fighter jets.

The missile was launched at 6,000 feet/1,829 m.

The shot paves the way for the F-35 Lightning II to utilize the weapon’s high off-boresight and targeting capabilities, increasing lethality in the visual arena.

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