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.
We need to make enough of them where the price comes down and make it our dominant fighter.
We will need them. Don’t think it will be long.
We also need a great number of F-22’s.
External loads degrade their stealth.
Why was “aerospace” removed from “Popular Keywords” and how can we get it put back on there?
Unless Lockheed kept all the jigs, tooling and outside supplier network, that ship has sailed.
Why does this “fighter” need a gun pod? Didn’t we learn anything from the F-4 Phantom fiasco? Put the gun INSIDE!
Once you have Air Supremacy, you don’t need stealth. At least not as much as the first week or two of the conflict.
Huh??? A billion dollar fighter with a gun pod?? Why, absolutely nothing, not even an A-4 Skyhawk could get close. So why the gun?
Maybe for CAS??? Yeah a billion dollar machine brought down by a five cent round from an SKS.
This concept is nothing but a ditch waiting for an American bound man and an assasin.
This cannot be the entirety of our air-air effort. It will be overwhelmed by good enough at some point.
At least it’s designed to use the pod at the outset, unlike the F-4.
With all the lift fan mechanism up front and swivel linkages in the back of in the B model, perhaps there was no room for an internal gun.
Can the pylons the external weapons are mounted on be removed for high stealth required sorties? If not I’d expect this adaptation gives what is touted to be a stealth fighter something like the radar signature of an F16 or F18. Could be wrong, the article doesn’t address the issue. Along with VTOL in some versions I’m not sure what advantage the bird has besides stealth over much older platforms with upgraded avionics and weapons control.
We didn’t learn anything from the F-111 program, either.
As we see “partner” nations stagger and gasp at the cost of this beast, they’re going to drop out of the program, sourcing other fighters for their needs. This will mean that the US Taxpayer will have to shoulder a bigger proportion of the ballooning costs of this beast to bring it to completion.
Popular keywords are based on recent usage. On a day when Sukhoi-30mki posts a lot of articles, the keyword 'aerospace' gets used often enough to appear on the list.
What I have done is to add the keywords 'aerospace' and 'navair' (and 'banglist') to my custom sidebars, so that the latest keyword tagged articles appear on my sidebar automatically.
Click on the "configure sidebar" at the end of your own sidebar to get rid of unwanted boxes such as breaking news, and add custom boxes for your favorite keywords.
They did. They also recorded every process, and had the workers describe little tricks and tips on fabrication for future use. But the assembly line has been dismantled and mothballed, and will cost a billion or so to re-establish.
Whhistleduck is on a holy mission to discredit our armed forces. Your answer is seriously attacking his self-esteem!
The F-35B went with the external pod to make room for the lift fan, and the F-35C dropped the internal gun for more fuel.
The gun pod, when fitted, is full stealth. The other external stores racks are not.
Ain’t going to happen.
The price is going too high, especially considering the state of many partner nations’ economies.
Good deal. Lets get Obama out, try to get the budget under control (close whole Cabinet levels) and restart the F-22.
It’s the Bone all over again.
Of course they are removable.
The F-35A carries 181 rounds for its gun which is capable of firing at 3000 rounds/minute. The F-35B/C with its pod can carry 225 rounds. Whoopee!!!! The A-10 carries over 1100 rounds.
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.
Thanks. Now I’m “sure” and duly impressed.
How much time have you logged maintaining/flying Harriers?
None. I'm just a civilian fan of military aviation always interested in learning from those who know more. The thanks I sent you was sincere with no sarcasm intended.
In other news scientists discovered oranges are totally different than apples. Film at 11.
But those aircraft don’t operate from amphibious assault ships. The requirement for the gun pod has always been there on the F-35B. The aircraft will provide close air support as well as being available for first day of the war stealth scenarios with internal payload only. I fail to understand why people can’t get their heads around such a concept?
Hmmm.... The shoot-down of an Iraqi helicopter by an A-10 with its GAU-8 during GWI?
(IIRC, the Hog pilot said, "It just came apart..." ) <GRIN...>
Rumours of gun kills during the Eritrea-Ethiopia war in the late 1990s. During the Falklands there were gun kills. Sea Harrier against C-130 and Pucara against Westland Scout helicopter. On March 26th 1999 the lead F-15C pilot switched to guns after thinking that his AIM-120 AMRAAMs had missed the Serbian MiG-29s. The AMRAAMs had hit the two MiG-29.
Honest answer: probably during the VN war.
When was the last time grunts on the ground were saved by a gunfighter in the air? Probably not long ago.
The F-4 at first only could handle missiles or bombs. Then the NVAF piloted by Russians started shooting them down and we had too hurriedly come up with gun pods for the F-4.
Fighters need internal wing and nose guns.