The F-35's 25-mm cannon is not to be trifled with
The F-35 Lightning II will fly into the dogfights of the future armed with the latest air-to-air missiles. But that isn't all it has to defend itself with. Ever since the gunless F-4 Phantom was shown up by enemy MiG fighters during the Vietnam War, the planes of the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps have been fitted with no-nonsense Gatling-type cannons.
While all the attention is heaped (rightly so) on the monster 30-millimeter Avenger cannon and depleted uranium shells of the A-10 Warthog, its supposed close-air support rival, the F-35, is no slouch. The JSF uses a four-barrel GAU-22/A 25-mm gun, mounted over the pilot's left shoulder. Based off the larger, five-barrel GAU-12 Equalizer used on a variety of fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, the F-35's gun can spew out 3,300 rounds per minute. While that's not as much lead as the full-size variant, it's still a hell of a lot of firepower.
In case you need proof of that, check out the video from Lockheed Martin up top, which shows a gun test of the four-barrel Equalizer. It blasts 181 rounds in just a couple seconds, delivering a malicious buzz the entire way. It's not quite as evil sounding as the maniacal Avenger, but it still sounds darn impressive.
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