Skip to comments.PICTURES: F-35B flies with gun pod installed
Posted on 02/24/2012 6:07:03 AM PST by Yo-Yo
Lockheed Martin's short take-off and vertical landing F-35B has made its first flight with a key weapon system for the US Marine Corps installed.
Flown from the US Navy's Patuxent River test site in Maryland on 22 February, test aircraft BF-2 carried a 25mm gun pod on a centreline weapons station, in addition to two Raytheon AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles beneath its outboard wing stations.
"Significant weapons testing for the F-35B and F-35C variants is scheduled for 2012, including fit checks, captive carriage, pit drop and aerial drop tests," said Lockheed.
Meanwhile, Royal Air Force experimental test pilot Sqn Ldr Jim Schofield has become the first UK pilot to fly the carrier variant F-35C, having performed a sortie in test aircraft CF-2 from Patuxent River.
As of 23 February, some 1,704 flights totalling more than 2,500h had been performed by the F-35 development and test fleet, said Lockheed. This total includes 114 flights conducted so far during 2012, it added.
BF-2's first flight with external stores came less than a week after a conventional take-off and landing F-35A AF-1 had also flown with two AIM-9X missiles as part of a payload including weapons carried in the aircraft's two internal bays.
The F-4 was my first thought also.
The Phantom II was the first fighter aircraft to be completely reliant on its own radar and detection systems rather than ground based fighter control and was the first fighter to be designed without guns or cannonsbeing armed with missiles only. However, the elimination of guns proved to be a detriment during close-in air-to-air encounters in Vietnam, which resulted in the installation of guns starting with F-4C.2
I trust you’re right and hopefully in little or no more time as it takes to refuel and reload weapons stores in the concealed bays. Would have been a nice touch if the article mentioned something along those lines.
The F-35 uses a 25mm gun, the A-10 a 30mm. The legacy F-16 carries 511 20mm rounds, the F/A-18C 578 20mm, and the AV-8B uses an external gun pod with 300 rounds of 25mm.
Didn't they sell those to China as scrap?
Thanks, didn’t see it in Navair or Aerospace. I see neither are tagged. I should have title searched first.
I would suspect easily overcome by sheer numbers of non stealth, cheap by comparison, high performance fighters. Sacrifice of some necessary for the defeat of superior technology. I believe as a necessity we need both technology and numbers. Kind of like how the navy has a protective screen around the expensive carriers.
That's just me though.
The first perceptive response on this thread.
That is what we have C-130 variants and A-10's for. It sounds like we have a plane without a mission and they are trying to backfit one onto it (a mission requirement, I mean).
so against China or Russia we need satellites, but there’s no way Iran takes out our satellites. Yes we need this stuff, but not in the quantities of the past. Times are changing.
You forgot. We are seeing the merging of the Communist World and that of Islam. They already are partners in crime. This will only get worse. There is no way the Paks got nukes without outside help, the plans were not in the Koran. There is no way that Iran will have nukes without outside help. They have it from Russia & China. Be very concerned. Brave New World. (Insanity)
Sensor suite, stability, payload, performance, larger more pwoerful engine, improved maintenance, etc. ...
Neither of which can operate from a LHA/LHD. Not very perceptive of you to fail to take that into consideration.
One of the big problems with relying on missiles is that sometimes they do not work. Phantom pilots found this out early in the war. The problems with the missiles were eventually fixed but you can’t fix stupid - as in building a fighter plane w/o a gun.
Thanks, didnt see it in Navair ...
Doesn't look like magslinger's gotten around to pinging it yet.
Honest Question: When was the last air to air shoot down with guns?
As Lockheed-Martin was completing the final F-22 they were preserving the tooling and putting it in conexes. The containers are stored at a military depot in California.
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