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​AF-1, of the 461st Flight Test Squadron at Edwards AFB, Calif., became the first F-35 to fire the AIM-9X missile on Jan. 12, 2016. Lockheed Martin Courtesy photo by Chad Bellay.

​An F-35A from the 461st Flight Test Squadron at Edwards AFB, Calif., recently fired an AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missile for the first time, according to an Air Force Materiel Command release. Lockheed Martin chief test pilot David Nelson fired the missile from the first F-35A test aircraft, AF-1, at 6,000 feet during a test flight over the Pacific Sea Test Range. “The shot paves the way for the F-35 to utilize the weapon’s high off-boresight and targeting capabilities, increasing lethality in the visual arena,” according to the release.