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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Video of the Day: The F-35 Unleashes Its Gat...

A video screenshot showing an F-35A Lightning II aircraft firing its 25mm Gatling gun during a weapons test at Edwards Air Force Base in California...on August 14, 2015.
F-35 Integrated Test Force

Just thought I'd share this cool video (well, uncool if you're a cost-conscious yuppie pacifist who wants to rein in the Pentagon's budget and remove funding from awesome military programs like this one; no, this doesn't apply to me) of an F-35A Lightning II aircraft firing 181 rounds from its 25mm Gatling gun that's located on the port-side of its fuselage. The weapons test took place at Edwards Air Force Base in California on August 14. The cannon is hidden behind a small door to minimize the F-35's radar signature... It is, after all, the fifth-generation brethren of the stealthy F-22 Raptor. Unlike the Raptor, however, the F-35 fleet will consist of much more than 195 aircraft (the total amount of Raptors built) and will be used by other nations such as Israel, Great Britain, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Turkey and Norway. More than 2,400 F-35s are planned to be used by the United States alone (by the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy). The F-35A is the U.S. Air Force's variant of the Lightning II.

Airborne testing of the F-35's cannon will begin later this year, while the gun will officially become operational in 2017...one or two years before the F-35C (the U.S. Navy's version of the fighter jet) enters military service. The F-35A becomes operational next year while the F-35B (the Marines' variant) became ready for combat last month.

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