F-35 In-Bay Infrared Missile Carrying Capability

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Last Updated on 5 months by Francis

The F-35 Lightning II, developed by Lockheed Martin, is a state-of-the-art multirole combat aircraft. One of the key features of the F-35 is its ability to carry infrared missiles inside its weapon bays. These missile bays provide secure and stealthy storage for a variety of munitions, including infrared-guided air-to-air missiles. The F-35 has specific specifications and storage options that allow for the integration and deployment of these missiles within its internal weapon bays.

Contents

Key Takeaways:

  • The F-35 can carry infrared missiles inside its weapon bays for enhanced air-to-air combat capabilities
  • The F-35 has specific specifications and storage options for integrating and deploying these missiles
  • The missile bays provide secure and stealthy storage for infrared-guided air-to-air missiles
  • The F-35’s ability to carry these missiles inside its weapon bays enhances its air-to-air combat capabilities
  • Lockheed Martin, the developer of the F-35, ensures the aircraft’s compatibility with the latest infrared missile technology

The Importance of Infrared Missiles in Air-to-Air Combat

infrared missiles compatible with f35

Infrared-guided air-to-air missiles, such as the AIM-9X Sidewinder, play a crucial role in air-to-air combat. These missiles are designed to home in on the heat signature emitted by enemy aircraft, allowing for accurate and effective targeting. The F-35 has the capacity to carry a significant number of these infrared missiles in its internal weapon bays, providing enhanced air-to-air capabilities. The exact number of missiles the F-35 can carry depends on its configuration and mission requirements.

The deployment of these missiles can be done through various methods, including lock-on after launch capability. This capability allows the missiles to be released from the F-35 and then directed towards their target. This flexibility in deployment methods enhances the F-35’s effectiveness in engaging enemy aircraft and ensures its superiority in air-to-air combat scenarios.

With the compatibility of infrared missiles with the F-35 and its missile carrying capacity, the aircraft is equipped to handle a wide range of air-to-air combat situations. These missiles provide the F-35 with the means to engage and neutralize enemy threats effectively. The integration of infrared missiles into the F-35’s arsenal significantly enhances its overall combat capabilities, making it a formidable force in the skies.

F-35 and the AIM-9X Block II Infrared Missile

f35 infrared missile integration

The F-35, an advanced multirole combat aircraft, is designed to integrate seamlessly with the latest version of the AIM-9X missile, known as the AIM-9X Block II. This state-of-the-art infrared-guided air-to-air missile is specifically tailored to enhance the F-35’s capabilities in aerial combat.

The AIM-9X Block II offers a lock-on after launch capability, allowing it to be fired from the F-35 and then guided towards its intended target. With this advanced missile, the F-35 can effectively engage and neutralize enemy threats, ensuring air superiority in hostile environments.

To support the deployment of the AIM-9X Block II, the F-35 incorporates specific storage capabilities within its internal weapon bays. These storage options ensure the safe and secure accommodation of the infrared missiles during missions, enabling seamless integration and deployment.

The integration of the AIM-9X Block II missile with the F-35 significantly enhances the aircraft’s air-to-air combat capabilities, providing pilots with a precise and powerful weapon system to engage and defeat enemy aircraft. This advanced integration further solidifies the F-35’s position as a cutting-edge fighter aircraft capable of dominating the skies.

Key Features of the AIM-9X Block II:

  • Advanced infrared guidance system for accurate target acquisition
  • Enhanced maneuverability and agility for optimal performance in air-to-air engagements
  • Lock-on after launch capability for increased flexibility and target acquisition
  • Compatibility with the F-35’s internal weapon bays for safe storage and deployment
  • Proven track record in combat scenarios, ensuring reliability and effectiveness

Specialized External Materials for the AIM-9X Block II-Plus

f35 weapon bay specifications

The AIM-9X Block II-Plus is a specialized version of the AIM-9X missile designed specifically for use with the F-35. This advanced infrared-guided air-to-air missile features specialized external materials that enhance the stealth capabilities of the aircraft.

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While the development of an internal version of the AIM-9X that can fit inside the F-35’s enclosed weapons bay is still ongoing, the AIM-9X Block II-Plus can be carried externally by the F-35. These externally-carried missiles are equipped with stealthy coatings and structures that help reduce the missile’s radar cross-section.

The F-35’s weapon bay specifications are specifically designed to accommodate the secure storage and deployment of these externally-carried infrared missiles. By carrying the AIM-9X Block II-Plus externally, the F-35 can maintain its stealth characteristics while still being equipped with a potent air-to-air weapon system.

F-35’s Multiple Locations for Missile Production and Maintenance

f35 missile storage capabilities

The production and maintenance of the infrared missiles carried by the F-35 are conducted at multiple locations. Raytheon Technologies Corp. is one of the main contractors responsible for the production of these missiles. The work is carried out in various locations across the United States, including St. Albans, Vt.; Simsbury, Conn.; Keyser, W.Va.; Tucson, Ariz.; Murrieta, El Cajon, Goleta, and Anaheim, Calif.; St. Petersburg, Fla.; Midland, Ontario; Anniston, Ala.; Vancouver, Wash.; Niles, Ill.; Heilbronn, Germany; Logan, Utah; Lexington, Ky.

These facilities ensure the efficient and timely production of the infrared missiles to meet the demands of the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Army, and foreign allies.


Raytheon Technologies Corp. Missile Production Locations:

Location Country
St. Albans United States
Simsbury United States
Keyser United States
Tucson United States
Murrieta United States
El Cajon United States
Goleta United States
Anaheim United States
St. Petersburg United States
Midland United States
Ontario Canada
Anniston United States
Vancouver United States
Niles United States
Heilbronn Germany
Logan United States
Lexington United States

F-35’s Armament and Weapons Systems

The F-35 is equipped with a diverse range of armaments and weapons systems, allowing it to excel in various missions, including air superiority and strike missions. These systems effectively enhance the F-35’s combat capabilities, ensuring its effectiveness on the battlefield.

The F-35’s armament includes a combination of internal and external weapon bays, offering ample storage space for different types of munitions. This enables the aircraft to carry a significant number of infrared-guided air-to-air missiles, contributing to its air-to-air combat prowess.

The exact carrying capacity of the F-35 for infrared missiles depends on the specific configuration of the aircraft and the requirements of each mission. However, the F-35’s missile storage capabilities are designed to accommodate a significant number of these missiles, further bolstering its air-to-air combat capabilities.

Munitions Storage Option
Infrared-guided air-to-air missiles Internal and external weapon bays
Other air-to-air munitions Internal and external weapon bays

With its efficient missile storage and carrying capacity, the F-35 ensures a wide range of munitions can be readily deployed during missions, providing the aircraft with the necessary firepower for different combat scenarios.

Further reinforcing its capabilities, the F-35 is also armed with an internal Gatling gun for close-in combat engagements. This additional armament allows the aircraft to effectively respond to threats in close quarters, ensuring its versatility on the battlefield.

Overall, the F-35’s armament and weapon systems, combined with its advanced technology and capabilities, make it a formidable force in modern aerial warfare, capable of executing a wide range of missions with precision and effectiveness.

F-35’s Internal Gatling Gun for Close-In Combat

f35 weapon bay specifications

In addition to carrying infrared missiles, the F-35 is also equipped with an internal Gatling gun for close-in combat situations. The F-35A variant has a four-barrel 25mm Gatling gun, while the F-35B and F-35C variants have an external missionized gun pod. The F-35’s internal gun is used as a show of force or when collateral damage needs to be minimized. The F-35’s weapon bay specifications allow for the secure storage and deployment of the internal Gatling gun, providing the aircraft with an additional capability for close-in combat engagements.

Gatling Gun Specifications F-35A F-35B F-35C
Gun Type Four-barrel 25mm Gatling gun External missionized gun pod External missionized gun pod
Use Internal External External
Role Close-in combat Close-in combat Close-in combat
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Global F-35 Operators’ Armament List

f35 missile carrying capacity

The F-35 is operated by multiple countries, each with its own specific armament requirements. Here’s a breakdown of the armament list for global F-35 operators:

Air-to-Air Missiles

  • AIM-9X Sidewinder: An infrared-guided air-to-air missile renowned for its accuracy and agility.
  • AIM-120 AMRAAM: Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, capable of engaging targets at long ranges.

Air-to-Ground Munitions

  • GBU-31 JDAM: Guided Bomb Unit-31 Joint Direct Attack Munition, offering pinpoint accuracy for precision strikes.
  • GBU-12 Paveway II: A laser-guided bomb, ideal for engaging stationary or moving targets accurately.

F-35 operators have the flexibility to integrate and deploy these various munitions based on their specific mission requirements and operational needs. The F-35’s missile carrying capacity and weapon storage options allow for seamless integration and optimum utilization of these armaments.

Country Air-to-Air Missiles Air-to-Ground Munitions
United States AIM-9X Sidewinder, AIM-120 AMRAAM GBU-31 JDAM, GBU-12 Paveway II
United Kingdom AIM-9X Sidewinder, AIM-132 ASRAAM Brimstone, Paveway IV, Storm Shadow
Australia AIM-9X Sidewinder, AIM-120 AMRAAM GBU-31 JDAM, GBU-12 Paveway II
Italy AIM-9X Sidewinder, AIM-120 AMRAAM GBU-32 JDAM, GBU-16 Paveway II
Israel AIM-9X Sidewinder, Python 5, Derby SPICE-2000, Delilah, Popeye

F-35’s Small Diameter Bomb and Joint Standoff Weapon

f35 missile storage capabilities

The F-35 is equipped with the Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) and Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) for precision strikes against stationary and moving targets. These weapons provide the F-35 with enhanced capabilities for air-to-ground missions. The F-35’s missile storage capabilities allow for the integration and deployment of these precision-guided munitions, enabling the aircraft to effectively engage both stationary and moving targets with a high degree of accuracy.

The Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) is a compact, precision-guided munition that can be deployed from the F-35’s internal weapon bays. It is designed to engage targets with a high level of accuracy, minimizing collateral damage. The SDB features advanced guidance systems and can strike targets at significant stand-off ranges, enhancing the F-35’s capabilities in complex air-to-ground missions.

Air Force Lieutenant General Christopher Bogdan once stated, “The Small Diameter Bomb is an all-weather, highly accurate, stealthy weapon with the potential to substantially decrease collateral damage.”

The Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) is another weapon system employed by the F-35 for precise air-to-ground strikes. The JSOW is a glide bomb that can be deployed from medium to high altitudes. It features a range of selectable munitions and can engage targets from stand-off distances, minimizing the risk to the aircraft. The integration of the JSOW into the F-35’s armament further expands its capabilities in a variety of combat scenarios.

Comparison Table: Small Diameter Bomb vs. Joint Standoff Weapon

Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW)
Deployment Method Internal weapon bays Medium to high altitudes
Guidance System Precision-guided Glide bomb
Target Engagement Stand-off ranges Stand-off distances
Payload Options Variety of selectable munitions Selectable munitions
Collateral Damage Minimized Minimized

Both the Small Diameter Bomb and the Joint Standoff Weapon contribute to the F-35’s mission flexibility and precision strike capabilities. These munitions enhance the effectiveness of the F-35 in engaging both stationary and moving targets, enabling the aircraft to maintain a high level of accuracy while minimizing collateral damage. The F-35’s advanced missile storage capabilities ensure the seamless integration and deployment of these precision-guided bombs, making the aircraft a formidable force in modern air-to-ground operations.

Future Developments and Integration of Additional Munitions

The F-35 program is constantly evolving to meet the changing demands of modern warfare. With ongoing developments and future plans, the F-35 is continuously integrating new munitions to enhance its capabilities. The advanced weapon bays and storage options of the F-35 are designed to accommodate a wide range of munitions, providing flexibility for future upgrades and the integration of cutting-edge weapons systems. This ensures that the F-35 remains a versatile and highly capable platform for years to come, capable of adapting to evolving mission requirements and operational needs.

As the F-35 program moves forward, the focus is on expanding the aircraft’s capabilities in terms of infrared missile capabilities and missile storage options. By incorporating advanced munitions into its arsenal, the F-35 will be able to effectively engage and neutralize threats on the battlefield.

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Image showcasing the remarkable infrared missile capabilities of the F-35.

Conclusion

The F-35’s infrared missile carrying capacity is a key factor in its enhanced air-to-air combat capabilities. The integration and deployment of these missiles, such as the AIM-9X Block II, are made possible by the F-35’s weapon bay specifications and storage options. These features provide secure and stealthy storage, ensuring the effective deployment of infrared missiles during missions. With its advanced armament and weapons systems, the F-35 remains a formidable force in modern aerial warfare.

The F-35’s ability to carry a significant number of infrared missiles inside its weapon bays enhances its air-to-air combat capabilities. The secure storage and stealth capabilities of these internal weapon bays allow for the integration and deployment of infrared-guided air-to-air missiles, such as the AIM-9X Block II. These missiles, designed specifically for the F-35, enable accurate targeting and effective engagements with enemy aircraft.

Overall, the F-35’s infrared missile carrying capacity plays a vital role in its mission success. With its state-of-the-art technology and advanced weapons systems, the F-35 is capable of carrying out a wide range of missions with precision and effectiveness. Whether it’s air superiority or strike missions, the F-35’s ability to carry and deploy infrared missiles proves its dominance in modern aerial warfare.

FAQ

Can the F-35 carry infrared missiles inside its bays?

Yes, the F-35 is capable of carrying infrared missiles inside its weapon bays.

What is the capacity of infrared missiles that the F-35 can carry?

The capacity of infrared missiles that the F-35 can carry depends on its configuration and mission requirements.

How are infrared missiles deployed from the F-35?

Infrared missiles can be deployed from the F-35 through lock-on after launch capability, allowing the missiles to be released from the aircraft and directed towards their target.

Is the F-35 compatible with the AIM-9X Block II infrared missile?

Yes, the F-35 is compatible with the AIM-9X Block II, which is specifically designed for use with the aircraft.

Can the F-35 carry the externally-carried AIM-9X Block II-Plus infrared missile?

Yes, the F-35 can carry the externally-carried AIM-9X Block II-Plus, which features external materials to enhance the aircraft’s stealth capabilities.

Where are the infrared missiles carried by the F-35 produced and maintained?

The production and maintenance of the F-35’s infrared missiles are conducted at multiple locations, including facilities in the United States and Germany.

What other armaments and weapons systems are equipped on the F-35?

In addition to infrared missiles, the F-35 is equipped with a variety of armaments and weapons systems, including a Gatling gun for close-in combat and precision-guided munitions for air-to-ground missions.

What is the armament list for global F-35 operators?

The armament list for global F-35 operators includes a variety of air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions, such as the AIM-9X Sidewinder and AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles, as well as guided bombs for air-to-ground missions.

Does the F-35 have the capability to perform precision strikes?

Yes, the F-35 is equipped with the Small Diameter Bomb and Joint Standoff Weapon for precision strikes against stationary and moving targets.

Are there plans for future developments and integration of additional munitions on the F-35?

Yes, the F-35 program continues to evolve, with ongoing developments and plans for the integration of additional munitions to meet changing mission requirements and operational needs.

What is the overall infrared missile carrying capability of the F-35?

The F-35’s ability to carry infrared missiles inside its weapon bays provides the aircraft with enhanced air-to-air combat capabilities.

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