The Marines have successfully fired for the first time an 80-round burst from the rapid-fire cannon designed for the new F-35B Lightning II fighter.
The pod fits underneath the aircraft and carries 182 rounds, enough for just about four seconds of firing at 55 per second. However, it would take only a few hits from the gun’s high-explosive ammunition to down an enemy plane or disable a tank.
The gun pod will be fitted to the stealthy fighter whenever a mission requires the use of a cannon.
Lockheed Martin is building the F-35 in three versions for the Air Force, Navy and Marines. Two squadrons of the Marine version are already operational in Yuma, AZ.
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