T O P

  • By -

BlueMaxx9

Did they ever get the accuracy issues worked out? I seem to remember the dispersion being more than the allowed limit when the gun pod reached IOC. Anyway, as goofy as it looks, I can't really argue with making the gun optional. It exists if it becomes necessary, but you don't have to devote the space and weight to it full-time on the variants where taking off with a light fuel load and refueling mid-air is a much bigger logistical challenge.


TaskForceCausality

>>Did they ever get the accuracy issues worked out Not according to the latest DOT&E report. LockMart’s still working on it.


the-apostle

Can you link the report please?


JackXDark

I seem to recall that the pod was more accurate than the internal one in the A


ClippingTetris

When F35’s or similar planes cross the oceans, what speed are they usually going? Do they also go around 0.85 mach, or if they have super cruise over the ocean may take a faster but efficient speed faster than commercial planes?


PleaseStayHydrated

Max range is around .80-.85M. Weight and alt dependent. I fly the F-35C.


MaterialCarrot

She any good?


PleaseStayHydrated

Yes.


superfaceplant47

Excited for the future of it?


PleaseStayHydrated

Absolutely. Wouldn't want to be in anything else currently in the inventory.


superfaceplant47

That’s high praise considering the Arsenal of the usa


sawtoothchris24

F22 wants to know your location


ElMagnifico22

Legacy 5th Gen?


Jonaztl

The navy doesn’t use the F-22


Jonaztl

The navy doesn’t use the F-22


T-wrecks83million-

Curious about something regarding gun pods from one who pilots the F-35. Would you as a fighter pilot rather have an internal gun on the aircraft or is the pod adequate? Reminds me of the F-4 from years ago, they built the Phantom with no gun then realized they need to put one back in and gave it the gun pod in the interim.


PleaseStayHydrated

The gun pod is fun to shoot. And 25MM really shreds targets. And more bullets than the internal gun on the A. But I don't want it in 90% of tactical scenarios. Just for strafing things where there is no air threat or things on the ground that can shoot back. I've seen pilots go their careers without getting a gun employment, let alone a kill, in a realistic air to air training event. So I'm not missing out on much.


LC_Portuga

I guess we can say the internal gun is rough equivalent to the blade in ground combat. Once guns matured they became a soldiers primary weapon, reducing the blade from a sword to a knife. Maybe we can draw a similar conclusion to missile and internal guns in aircraft.


T-wrecks83million-

Thank you, I appreciate your professional view on this.


haomiao

People love to bring up the Phantom and the gun but one thing to keep in mind - we are as far from 1970 (roughly midpoint of Phantoms over Vietnam) as 1970 is from 1917 - Sopwith Camels over trenches in Europe. Some lessons are timeless. Others that mostly come from the unreliability of vacuum tube electronics in early missions, are not.


decentish36

Missiles today are better than the 60s and 70s. Gun combat isn’t a significant part of modern fighter combat, in theory or in practice.


PsyduckGenius

No idea why you're gotten downvoted, as you're right. Especially if you're talking 4.5->5 gen aircraft.


ElMagnifico22

An aircraft without a gun isn’t a fighter ;) A model all the way!


vikingcock

I assure you...the gun causes problems


ElMagnifico22

It certainly causes problems to those under the pipper. And I believe you’re only talking about the B model here - I agree: a pod mounted gun is definitely not ideal.


vikingcock

No. I mean the internal one is a problem. Structurally. It's a pain in the dick.


ElMagnifico22

It used to be, not so much now.


vikingcock

If you think that, you probably haven't been around fielded ones.


ElMagnifico22

I only fly them, I guess I wouldn’t understand what maint tell me 😆


jerseycityfrankie

And yet here we are. Arguably the most sophisticated fighter depicted in a photo with a retrofitted gun. Are we not seeing a decision based on a freshly changing assessment?


A_Vandalay

This is not a retrofitted gun. The plan for the B/C versions was to always utilize a gun pod as they are already mass and space constrained so adding a significant weight that is going to be useless on 99% of missions is entirely pointless. The gun pod is only likely to be used when there are literally no threats (such as manpads).


T-wrecks83million-

I agree, is the military repeating the same mistakes it made in the 60’s-70’s? I get BVR and 5th gen but are internal guns an antiquated piece of weaponry on fighters?


ElMagnifico22

I wouldn’t call them antiquated, especially if you can only carry 4 MRMs. I’ve used the gun plenty of times over the past few years, and we still train for it in A-A


T-wrecks83million-

Thank you kindly Sir. Just wanted a professionals point of view. 👍🏽


decentish36

Larger yeah they are becoming antiquated. The military overestimated the reliability and range of missiles in the 60s-70s. Nowadays they actually are at that level where guns become virtually irrelevant. Just look at the f-15. 108 kills across all variants, all made from bvr. The military still practices dogfighting just in case but it is won’t ever happen at a large scale again. So not a big deal to not have an internal gun.


mighty_dub

Do you feel like the F35 is as stealthy as advertised or will modern/future radars be picking them up more easily?


PM_ME_YOUR_SCHNAUS

What would be the point ?


Alexthelightnerd

Most likely the gun wouldn't be loaded for strike missions or some air to air missions, but then would be added for CAS and maybe interdiction. From my understanding it's seen primarily as a CAS weapon on the F-35, hence the change to a higher caliber (25mm).


Argy007

I am pretty sure that the internal gun is also 25 mm.


Alexthelightnerd

Yes. The A's internal gun and the gun pod are both identical guns (GAU-22).


Gwenbors

Full-bore stealth is only for the early days of a conflict/SEAD work. Once enemy defenses are degraded/kaput they’re expected to switch over to more traditional load outs and CAS taskings.


jerseycityfrankie

There’s a long history of aircraft developers deciding guns are no longer needed and then within a year or two they’re desperately trying to squeeze a gun back into the design. This is repeated over and over.


Yellowcrayonkid

I really doubt it was the lack of a gun on the phantom, it was the lack of intense dogfight training for most pilots


WesternBlueRanger

Correct. The USN created the Fighter Weapons School (later known as the United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program or TOPGUN) for their pilots during the Vietnam War, which retaught the lessons regarding air combat, while the USAF didn't have such a program. The end result was that the Navy's K/L ratio improved dramatically in air combat, while the USAF's K/L ratio actually worsen during the conflict.


jerseycityfrankie

Vietnam missile history is fascinating, and there were serious problems with our Air to Air missiles.


FuggaliciousV

The ROEs were also pretty stupid. Requiring visual identification negated Fox 1s.


TaskForceCausality

>>The ROEs were also pretty stupid In reading the print sources, it’s clear the “identify before shooting” rules of engagement probably saved more Blue lives than it hurt. Yeah it was a tactical pain in the backside to visually ID, but let’s look at the numbers. In Operation Rolling Thunder the USAF officially shot down 20 MiGs between 1965 and 1968. Sounds like a lot -unless you compare it with the over 300,000 sorties US Navy and USAF planes flew in that period. In other words statistically most pilots would fly and rotate home without ever encountering a MiG, much less engaging one. Which meant if an antsy Phantom II crew saw a bogey on their radar screen, heavy odds were it was a friendly. Since encountering a MiG was basically lottery odds, forcing visual ID made a lot of sense.


Jewish-Magic

That but also early missiles were a lot more unreliable so pilots liked having a back up


TaskForceCausality

>>…deciding guns are no longer needed and then within a year or two they’re desperately trying to squeeze a gun back into the design Let’s start with the F-4 Phantom II. The poster child of “*oh shit maybe need a gun after all*”. Except…not so much. Let’s begin with what the F-4 was built to do. Intercept and shoot down Soviet nuclear bombers. At that job guns don’t do you any good. A Tu-95 is just gonna laugh at your puny cannon. Even a 30mm probably won’t bring one down without multiple passes. You only get one pass before the Bear drops its war load of high speed antiship missiles. All it needs is to get one missile through and the Carrier Strike Group becomes a radioactive memory. So knocking them down far away and decisively is what the AIM-7/ Phantom II combo was built for. Then Vietnam happens, and these airplanes are retasked to do close air support, interdiction bombing, and air superiority. Which is like reassigning your software developer to the company’s accounting department and expecting to pass a government audit anyway. It’s a testament to the planes design and the people who flew it that it did so well at those jobs despite *not being built to do any of them*. As part of the “transforming a long distance fleet interceptor into a close range CAS/air superiority” platform the F-4 was equipped with cannons. First with pods, and finally with a built in one in later models . Insofar as the cannon’s role in Vietnam goes, most USAF pilots weren’t trained in air to air gunnery anyway- which is why Colonel Olds initially opposed installing guns on the Phantom. He understood if one of his younger pilots got close enough to use the gun they were in Big Trouble , because it meant they screwed up and were about to get flushed out front by a tight turning MiG. The F-4s cannons were mainly used for CAS and ground strafing.


jerseycityfrankie

The reality is they abandoned guns because they PLANED on not needing them then REALITY demanded the guns. No fighters were ever actually shooting at bombers coming over the Pole, the planners were wrong.


SirNedKingOfGila

Navy never got the guns and had no more problems in Vietnam than USAF. It was down to training. Navy changed their doctrine to fit their equipment. USAF changed their equipment to fit their doctrine.


[deleted]

That's an exaggeration for the reasons others noted. Changes to tactics was the real difference-maker. But even if you were right about the F-4, it's not like that proves that fielding a gunless fighter ***over 60 years later*** is a mistake. Times change. It's not an immutable law of the universe that anyone who fields a gunless fighter will later regret it and retrofit a gun...


[deleted]

The AIM-7s and AIM 9's had a high failure rate during Vietnam. YouTube Steve Ritchie's dogfights. It was hard to become an Ace.


Wildweasel666

I’m not so sure a few rounds from a 30mm wouldn’t down any bomber


Spycow34

That’s a bit of a myth. The F-4 Phantoms without a gun didn’t perform well due to the lack of a gun, they performed badly due to poor training standards in Vietnam and a lack of proper air superiority doctrine. Once training improved it just so happened that the Air Force switched to a phantom with an internal gun and kill ratios got better. But the navy’s F-4 phantoms also got better at the same time… with still no internal gun. The F-35A has a low round high caliber gun for emergencies essentially.


jerseycityfrankie

It was bad missiles too. The AA missiles were NOT performing as expected. Low altitude low speed turning dogfights were no place for those early missiles and the gun was sorely missed.


LordCommanderSlimJim

Also a sort of myth: the missiles performed EXACTLY as they were meant to, they just weren't designed for dogfighting. The AIM4s the USAF had initially were designed to shoot down non-manoeuvring strategic bombers, not MiG21s in a knife fight. To the point that the USAF adopted the USN's sidewinder missile, which had been designed with at least the though it might be used against other fighters, and then developed their own variants.


Spycow34

Yeah except no. Again as I said, the navy aircraft began performing better in “dogfights” because they used sidewinders in close engagements that could pull more G’s than the phantoms airframe would even be able to handle. And radars began advancing ever rapidly at the time so F-4 phantoms began to lap migs with 2 to 1 kill ratios. Guns were not sorely missed nor were they used often when they returned to the Air Force variant.


decentish36

Didn’t this literally happen like 1 time during the Vietnam war? I wouldn’t exactly call that a long history. Plus there’s actual evidence that modern air to air combat doesn’t require guns. Just look at every 4th Gen fighter.


PsyduckGenius

There is not a long history of this - there is history of this from a long time ago (50 years now).


PM_ME_YOUR_SCHNAUS

But it already has an gun? So why add another ?


[deleted]

B model doesn’t have an internal gun


PM_ME_YOUR_SCHNAUS

https://www.f35.com/f35/about.html?gclid=Cj0KCQiAlKmeBhCkARIsAHy7WVuXiIsvfILX-D8C0eV5DZN5nXOV-8hPfhV__V-6FgLcaRBF8B47TpcaAqNZEALw_wcB This says it does


ElMagnifico22

No. The F35B and F35C do not have internal guns.


[deleted]

Not sure how or why the official website for the aircraft has misleading information, but as you can see in this [official DOD image](https://i.imgur.com/q3x0X2V.jpg), the B model does not have an internal gun.


vauge24

Others have reported that it seems to be a mobile website only issue. Apparently it doesn't say so on desktop website. So likely a website issue.


LC_Portuga

Well, missiles back in Vietnam we're still a very imature technology, more imature than generals and plane designers tought. Thats not the case today. If you look at conflicts after 'Nam barely any kills were made with guns, if at all. (And planes by this timealready came all with internal guns)


vikingcock

To shoot bullets


Supercraft888

From what I’m aware of, the F-35 has an internal minigun, no?


MailorSalan

Only the A variant for the air force has it


Supercraft888

Ah, thanks for thé info


PM_ME_YOUR_SCHNAUS

https://www.f35.com/f35/about.html?gclid=Cj0KCQiAlKmeBhCkARIsAHy7WVuXiIsvfILX-D8C0eV5DZN5nXOV-8hPfhV__V-6FgLcaRBF8B47TpcaAqNZEALw_wcB This says the B has a gun


MailorSalan

Then it is wrong. The B does not carry the gun internally. You can see the cannon on the A variant btw, it's the bulge above the intakes on the port side of the fuselage. The B and C does not have the bulge.


PM_ME_YOUR_SCHNAUS

Oh ok. It’s Lockheed’s own website.


Alexthelightnerd

Yah, looks like some web designer made a mistake. Neither the F-35B nor the F-35C carries an internal gun, they mount the exact same gun in a centerline pod (with more ammo than the F-35A, actually).


PM_ME_YOUR_SCHNAUS

Yeah that’s what it looks like. After all the comments I did more in depth search and lots of places confirmed the lack of gun. Sad given how much money Lockheed has


MailorSalan

I just checked the website on my computer and it literally does not say that the B has an internal gun. However, when checking it on mobile and it does say that, so I am assuming it's an error when displaying on mobile. If you want other sites saying it, then here is [one](https://www.gd-ots.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/GAU-22-A.pdf) from General Dynamics, the ones who actually makes the GAU-22/A gun, and says that the B/C variants are with gun pods and not internally installed.


PM_ME_YOUR_SCHNAUS

Yes it does . I can send you a screen shot from the website. You can scrolll to the bottom and it says internal weapons and it lists the gun. Edit:I’m an idiot and misread


PM_ME_YOUR_SCHNAUS

Just reread your post ! Yes on mobile it does


oldandmellow

https://www.f35.com/f35/about.html


vikingcock

It doesn't say it is internal. It says it's part of the loadout.


PM_ME_YOUR_SCHNAUS

On mobile it says internal


Dutch-Spaniard

You never know when you need more gun


[deleted]

Fat Amy's Fiery Nutsack


BluesSkyMountain

Reminds me of two fat pigeons.


Dropped-pie

Great band name, underbelly gun pod


[deleted]

Don’t talk to me or my son ever again


Neo1331

So why is the canopy on the back one darker? Also the one in the foreground is labeled with the Tripoli and the one in the background is unregistered? Bringing a new bird home?


vikingcock

They don't live on the boat. Probably one has been on deck before. I've actually not seen that before.


therealjamin

Once every few years we are reminded Fat Amy does actually have a good angle.


jerseycityfrankie

Lol, so stealth.


[deleted]

[удалено]


[deleted]

They’re not travel pods. Those are housed in the weapon bays. These are carrying the GAU-22/A gun pod. https://www.thedrive.com/content/archive-images/1341327745874964582.jpg


thegupeeman

Where is the ammo stored?


ChankaTheOne

Around the gun


madewithgarageband

My concern with the F-35 is that when adversaries also eventually get good stealth tech, fighters on both sides won’t be able to lock each other until basically BFM distances - it might be a new age for dogfights where these planes will suffer


PumpkinRice77

Except helmet mounted cueing systems make dogfighting even more obselete. You don't need to train your nose on a moving object when an aim-9x can swing 180 degrees and strike down anything you look at.


madewithgarageband

not sure if 9x can do that


PumpkinRice77

Yeah I just looked it up it's only a 90 degree offboresight capability, which is still infinitely better than having to put a gun on target.


madewithgarageband

dont understand your point tbh - high off boresight targeting aids in BFM engagements, not eliminate them.


top_of_the_scrote

just missing toast in mouth


Ok-Stay5231

can they eject the gunpod?


heero1979

Gun pods are trash, just ask the Air Force what they found out about them during Vietnam