WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — An F-35C jet fighter recently completed a first-of-its-kind test by destroying a moving, but driverless, pickup truck in a California desert with a laser guided bomb, the US Department of Defense announced in a press release.
The test used a GBU-12 bomb, a proven weapon with years of service. The bomb “made short work” of the truck despite being equipped with an inert, non-explosive warhead, the release explained.
“This was really a test of the aircraft targeting system and associated weaponeering logic, and the results of this test will be used to certify this capability with a GBU-12 on the F-35,” the release stated.
The test also involved a new software configuration that allows the pilot to shoot without having to estimate the speed, direction or range of the target.
If the target too far away, the plane automatically hangs on to the bomb until the plane reaches an optimum release point, according to the release.
The fifth-generation F-35 fighter jet is the most expensive weapons program in history, with an anticipated cost of more than $1 trillion over the next half-century.