A team of US Air Force (USAF) engineers and pilots are working with the Norwegian Government and industry personnel to test the Joint Strike Missile (JSM).
Designed to be carried in the F-35A’s internal weapons bay, the JSM is an advanced missile made of composite materials and uses stealth technology.
The JSM has air intakes, fold-out wings and tail fins and supports terrain-following flight. It can be used against sea- and land-based targets.
Prior to integrating with the F-35A, the JSM is being tested on F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 416th Flight Test Squadron (FLTS).
Test managers said that the F-16 provides a platform to initially test the missile before transferring it to the F-35 fifth-generation fighter.
416th FLTS JSM programme manager James Cook said: “What we’re doing is conducting risk-mitigation testing with the F-16 before the JSM is integrated on the F-35.”
“I think it’s awesome to be a part of the next generational fighter while being in a legacy fighter combined test force.
"I’m excited to see the final outcome, which will be the culmination of all we’ve done here.”
All tests will be conducted over the Utah Test and Training Range.
The JSM programme falls under the squadron’s European Participating Air Force Programme, which is managed by Cook.
Image: A F-16 Fighting Falcon carries a developmental test version of the Joint Strike Missile. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force / Christopher Okula.