Friday, July 24, 2015

Air Force tests internal integration of Gatling gun on F-35A

Air Force tests internal integration of Gatling gun on F-35A: The U.S. Air Force is testing the internal integration of a four-barrel Gatling gun into the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter.

The first phase of ground testing began last month on an F-35 test aircraft -- the AF-2 -- at the Edwards Air Force Base Gun Harmonizing Range. Flight tests could begin in late September.

The Gatling gun is the GAU-22/A, which fires 25 millimeter rounds, the Air Force said.

"As an Air Force pilot, it's going to be one more thing that I can select to either strafe air-to-ground targets or shoot as an air-to-air weapon," said Maj. Andrew Rollins, 461st Flight Test Squadron, assistant director of operations. "The GAU-22/A uses a 25mm shell, which is significantly more powerful than what I've been used to in legacy aircraft, the F-16 the F-15E, F-15C - all those aircraft use a 20mm shell."

The first shots fired in initial testing were non-exploding PGU-23/U practice rounds. An operational gun capability will be added with a future block of software, which is in the beginning stages of testing at Edwards.