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24 Nov 14. USS John Paul Jones’ Aegis Baseline 9 weapon system conducts flight tests. The Aegis Baseline 9 Destroyer weapon system integrated on board the US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), has successfully hit intended cruise missile targets over the Pacific Ocean. Executed together with the US Pacific Command and the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), the Flight Test Standard Missile-25 (FTM-25) marked the debut live-fire event in the integrated air and missile defence radar priority mode. PEO IWS Rear Admiral Jon Hill said: “The capability that the USS John Paul Jones demonstrated during FTM-25 is the culmination of years of tough engineering across the navy’s technical community and our industry partners. “The technology displayed during FTM-25 will be a critical addition to the fleet and their ability to stay prepared.” During tests, the Standard Missile-3 Block IB guided missile successfully intercepted a short-range ballistic missile target, while Standard Missile-2 Block IIIA guided missiles hit two low-flying cruise missile targets. PEO IWS led the latest FTM-25 programme as part of a developmental test/operational test sequence of events. The tests also involved discriminating sensors launched on two MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles and sensor systems ashore; command and control, battle management and communications (C2BMC) enterprise sensors lab; C2BMC experimentation lab; and the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex located at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. (Source: naval-technology.com)
27 Nov 14. A UK test team including personnel from BAE Systems, has successfully completed initial aircraft handling trials for ASRAAM and Paveway IV weapons on the F-35B Lightning II aircraft at Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland, United States. The trial or ‘dummy’ weapons rounds, which are identical in fit and form to the operational weapons, were tested on the Short Take-off Vertical Landing (STOVL) F-35B for the first time during a series of flights from the US Navy’s test facility at Patuxent River Naval Air Station. The initial tests are an important step in integrating weapons onto the F-35B, allowing test pilots to understand how they affect the way the aircraft performs and handles. The UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF) already uses ASRAAM and Paveway IV on its existing combat air fleet. The successful tests are a step towards full interoperability between the current and future fast jets that will be used by the RAF and the UK’s Royal Navy from 2018. Two F-35B STOVL aircraft, flown by Billie Flynn, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 test pilot and Squadron Leader Andy Edgell from the RAF, completed 9 flights with MBDA’s ASRAAM missiles and Raytheon’s Paveway IV laser guided bombs. The flights involved different configurations of both weapons types on the aircraft. The successful tests will be followed by the next stage of weapons testing due to take place in early 2015. These tests will involve weapon separation and then guided releases of both ASRAAM and Paveway IV from the aircraft. BAE Systems’ lead test pilot for F-35, Pete ‘Wizzer’ Wilson, said: “The team at Patuxent River has got over two thousand hours of flying under their belts for the F-35B variant and the handling and performance of the aircraft has shone through throughout. These latest trials were no exception and help us to move confidently into the next phase of weapons testing.” J.D. McFarlan, Lockheed Martin’s Vice President for F-35 Test & Verification from the Joint Strike Fighter programme added: “These trials show the truly international nature of the F-35 enterprise – being led out of a US Navy facility, involving a joint UK Ministry of Defence and industry team, working alongside the US Department of Defence and Lockheed Martin. And the