F-35 fires AIM-9X missile inverted

Photo credit: Lockheed Martin photo by Dane Wiedmann

Expanding its capability envelope, the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter has completed firing of an missile while flying upside-down.

An external pylon mounted AIM-9X air to air missile was launched while the F-35 CF-2 was flying inverted over the Patuxent River test range. 

Even though the F-35 is not designed for close range air to air combat with an adversary, the missile launch in the inverted negative G conditions will further improve its dogfighting capability.

Photo credit: Lockheed Martin photo by Dane Wiedmann

The AIM-9X is a short-range heat-seeking missile with an "off-boresight" capability for accuracy and features thrust-vectoring controls for increased turn capability. The F-35 can carry two AIM-9X missiles on its wings.