America's F-35 may not be very useful, but it's still, on paper, one hell of an aerial destruction machine. This freshly-released image from the F-35's first-ever weapons test shows the punch it'll pack.

Advertisement

Well—the kind of punch it'll pack if it's ever used for anything more than tests and photographs. The load up top included a nice variety of ordnance:

The weapons load for this mission involved carrying two air-to-air A IM-9X missiles on the outboard wing stations. In addition, the F-35 carried two internal 2,000-pound guided bombs (GBU-31) and two advanced medium range air-to-air missiles (AIM-120) inside the two internal weapon bays. No weapons were delivered during the mission. The jet also had mounted four external pylons that can carry 2000-pound air-to-ground weapons.

Between those air-to-airs and the GBU-31—used for laser-targeted base busting—the F-35 packs enough for either dogfighting or ground war.

Advertisement

And that's only part of the jet's potential: it's (supposedly) capable of flying with a full 18,000 pounds worth of explosives—some of them tucked away inside internal bays to boost stealth powers.