The US Department of Defense is planning to contract Lockheed Martin to conduct radar cross-section (RCS) testing on the F-35 Lightning II "to assess a weapon system and its effect on aircraft performance".Question.
This notice of intent from the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) did not specify any details of the weapon system, but as it is RCS-related testing, it is clear that the study will assess the viability of mounting weapons outside of the aircraft's weapons bays, and how that will impact the platform's key discriminator: its low radar signature.
The contract is expected to be single-sourced to Lockheed Martin by the end of September.
What haven't we seen from the F-35?
A max air to air load out....sure we've seen stuff from waaaaay back when, but
I should have noted this long ago.
4 AMRAAMs will not be enough in the Pacific. Everyone knows this. Everyone that is being honest acknowledges this, but the program office hasn't acted on it.
Now we see the conundrum. If you go max load out then how does that affect the stealth that you're depending on to survive a fight? But if you don't go max load out then you're probably not surviving the fight anyway!
A pretty stunning oversight for an airplane that was just declared operational today. Which also explains the late Friday news release.