Even if the GAU-22/A gun doesn’t feature the same raw power of the A-10’s GAU-8/A Avenger, the Joint Strike Fighter is ready for next year CAS flyoff between the F-35 and A-10
Taken at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pax River, the interesting video in this post shows F-35B BF-01 completing the first ever aircraft-mounted test-fire of the podded GAU-22/A gun.
According to General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS) website, the 25mm GAU-22/A produced by is an externally powered Gatling gun selected for installation in the F-35 Lightning II fighter.
GD-OTS developed the GAU-22/A for both the internal and external F-35 gun systems. This four-barrel gun is a derivative of the highly successful five-barrel, 25mm GAU-12/U gun also developed and built by GD-OTS.
Each of the four gun barrels has a breech bolt assembly that fires once per gun revolution. This ensures long barrel and breech life by distributing the heat and firing forces over all four barrels and breech positions. Continuous rotary motion reduces the impact loads on gun components, extending parts life and resulting in extremely high gun reliability.
The GAU-22/A is over 40 pounds lighter and occupies 20 percent less volume than the comparably equipped 5-barrel counterpart. The gun is easily configured to mount in either the F-35A internal gun system installation or the F-35B/C missionized gun pods.
The demonstrated versatility, coupled with significant combat lethality, makes the GAU-22/A gun an ideal candidate for air, land and sea platforms requiring an effective weapon for a variety of missions against a broad range of targets.
However even if the GAU-22/A doesn’t feature the same raw power of the A-10’s GAU-8/A Avenger, we think the Joint Strike Fighter is ready for the close air support (CAS) flyoff between the F-35 and A-10 that according to Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus (who is member of the the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program’s integration office) could start as early as next year.
Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com