Never seen before F-35's centerline gun pod unveiled

This image was posted on the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) few hours after I published the F-35 progress report with all the 2012’s updates.

On Feb. 22, six days after the first F-35A CTOL (Conventional Take Off and Landing) had flown with external stores, even the STOVL (Short Take Off and Vertical Landing) variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, flew for the first time with external weapons.

Noteworthy, along with the AIM-9X carried by the CTOL, the F-35B carried a never seen before (at least in photo) white 25 mm gun pod on the centerline.

Its particular shape was probably designed to fit in the triangular space between the fuselage weapons doors.

Image credit: Lockheed Martin

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.