An F-35 B-model fighter jet dropped a laser-guided bomb over an air force base in California this week, successfully destroying a tank parked on the ground. The plane released the 500-pound weapon while flying at about 25,000 feet, according to Reuters.
It’s the first time the jet “truly became a weapon system,” said the pilot who flew the aircraft, Marine Corps Major Richard Rusnok.
Different F-35 models have test-fired missiles in the air and over water. But Tuesday marked the first occasion the aircraft fired a laser-guided weapon at a ground target. The F-35’s ability to release a 1000-pound guided bomb will be tested next month.