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ATLANTIC OCEAN (Dec. 3, 2012) F-35B test aircraft BF-3, flown by Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burks, completes the first aerial weapons release of an inert 500-pound GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bomb by any variant of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft. BF-3 dropped the GBU-12 over the Atlantic Test Ranges from an internal weapons bay. The F-35B is the variant of the Lightning II designed for use by the U.S. Marine Corps, as well as F-35 international partners in the United Kingdom and Italy. The F-35B is capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings to enable air power projection from amphibious ships, ski-jump aircraft carriers and expeditionary airfields. The F-35B is undergoing flight test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River, Md., prior to delivery to the fleet. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin by Layne Laughter/Released) 121203-O-GR159-002 Join the conversation http://www.facebook.com/USNavy http://www.twitter.com/USNavy http://navylive.dodlive.mil
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