A video of an F-35A stealth jet unleashing 181 rounds in just seconds has been released, and the footage is pretty serious.
Hailed as the most expensive airplane in history (and perhaps the most controversial), the stealth jet continues to undergo testing, but one thing we can conclude thus far is that the jet does pack some serious firepower, whatever your opinion of the aircraft may be.
Shots were fired from the F-35A’s four barrel, 25 mm Gatling gun, which is embedded in the jet’s left wing and kept hidden until the trigger is engaged to reduce its radar cross section.
A production version of the GAU-22/A gun was used during the testing. The ground tests were designed using software to replicate being in flight and the aircraft used a target practice round, PGU-23/U, which does not explode on impact.
According to Lockheed Martin, the tests show the gun’s ability to spin up and down correctly. So, at least it does something right. The downside? Its gun can only hold 181 20mm rounds, which is less than the A-10 Thunderbolt’s GAU-8/A Avenger, for example.
The F-35 team plans to start airborne gun testing in the fall, and claims the jet will have an operational gun by 2017. Or so we hope.