Its supporters have argued for much of the last year that the F-35 was further along and in better shape than its critics were willing to give the program credit for. The plane, they argued, was close to combat-ready and once the first weapons tests occurred, people would see the truth of it.
Well, the Marine version of the plane, the F-35B, performed the first airborne weapon separation yesterday. And the JSF program moved heaven and earth to get the video and story cleared for public release as soon as humanly possible. As you can see from the video, the plane drops an inert JDAMS, one of the staples of the precision guided munitions used by the U.S. military in Afghanistan and Iraq. Keep reading →