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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Marines drop first bombs from F-35B in test runs

F-35B Lightning IIMarine pilots recently dropped dozens of live bombs from the F-35B joint strike fighter for the first time, bringing the aircraft a step closer to its long-anticipated rollout.

Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 dropped 30 bombs over five days without a hitch in late June near Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona. It was a first for the squadron testing the aircraft's capabilities, and Marines said they can hit targets in little- to no-visibility.

That showed that the F-35B is ready and able to conduct direct strikes in a battlefield environment, , said Maj. Christopher Trent, VMFA-121's pilot training officer and one of 14 pilots who flew several of the test sorties.

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