Interesting new pod for the F-35 on display at FIA12.
I was visiting the booth of Terma, a Danish firm, at Farnborough International Airshow 2012 last day, when I stumbled upon an interesting “F-35 Multi Mission Pod”.
The F-35 pod is a full monocoque composite structure in carbon fiber that can be used to expand the JSF’s special mission capabilities, by allowing the plane to fly “Next Generation EW and ISR systems, such as Jammers and EO sensors” as well as an external cannon.
Here’s a shot I took of the pod:
Since, it was engineered and flown in February 2012 I wonder whether it actually contained a 25 mm cannon (as Naval Air Systems Command affirmed at the time) when it appeared underneath the F-35 for the first time on Feb. 22, 2012.
Indeed, I can’t see any clear sign of a barrel coming out of it in the images available so far. But it may use a new system I don’t know yet…
Anyway, here below you get a back view of the pod.
Does that mean that if the pod is certified and cleared, they could just swap these in/out ? Seems like an excellent idea from LMT….
This unit differs from the one seen in the February photos in some details. The black panels are different from the ones in the other unit. Most interestingly the Feb unit seems to have a notch, or perhaps another black feature where the tip of the “pod” merges with the leading edge of the “pylon.” This is exactly where I’d expect a cannon to shoot through.
Does the flight software enable air to air engagements?