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F-35B conducts its first aerial weapons release.

NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXTENT RIVER, Md. (Aug. 8, 2012) F-35B test aircraft BF-3, flown by Lockheed Martin test pilot Dan Levin, completed the first aerial weapons release for any variant of the aircraft. BF-3 dropped an inert 1,000-pound GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munition over an Atlantic Ocean test range from an internal weapons bay. The F-35B is the variant of the Joint Strike Fighter designed for use by U.S. Marine Corps, as well as F-35 international partners in the United Kingdom and Italy. The F-35B is capable of short take-offs and vertical landings to enable air power projection from amphibious ships, ski-jump aircraft carriers and expeditionary airfields. The F-35B is undergoing test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River, Md., and Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., before delivery to the fleet. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy Lockheed Martin/Andy Wolfe/Released) 120808-O-GR159-003

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Taken on August 9, 2012