00:33 GMT08 March 2021
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    The F-35 combat jet fired a British-made short range air-to-air missile in the first test of its type using a foreign manufactured weapon on the US aircraft, European defense contractor MBDA Missile Systems announced in a statement on Wednesday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — According to the MBDA, The F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter jet has successfully conducted its first firing trials of the advanced short range air-to-air missile (ASRAAM).

    "The trials are the first time a British-designed missile has been fired from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and the first time any non-US missile has been fired from the aircraft," the statement explained.

    The infrared guided missile will be carried by the United Kingdom’s F-35 jets, the release noted.

    MBDA Missile Systems is a jointly-held European company whose shareholders are the Airbus Group, BAE Systems and Italy's Leonardo.

    The F-35 program has become notorious for the jet's technical problems. In September 2016, Defense News reported that an F-35A had caught fire during a drill at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho. The ten F-35 fighters were grounded following the fire incident, according to media reports. It has also experienced problems with pilot's ejection seats and brakes.

    The F-35 program has Navy, Air Force and Marine variants of the fifth generation aircraft. The program is the most expensive weapon system in the history of the Defense Department.


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    test, missile, F-35 Lightning II, US
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