Farnborough 2012: Close up view of the mysterious F-35's multimission pod. Did it really carry a gun in February 2012?

Can you remember the first images of the F-35 carrying a white 25 mm gun pod?

I was visiting the booth of Terma, a Danish firm, when I stumbled upon this:

The multimission pod for the F-35 is actually the same white pod carried on the centerline unveiled by the photographs released in February 2012.

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.

Since, it was engineered and flown in February 2012 I wonder if 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.

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 or the fact that the pod has low observability features…. :)

About David Cenciotti 4417 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance 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 four books.


  1. 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….

  2. 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.

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