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4 Reasons to Fear the F-35

Written by on Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

The F-35 is becoming the aircraft of choice for the U.S. Air Force. This versatile and reliable aircraft can be used in a variety of mission capacities, comes in 3 different variations, and has been purchased by many of America’s allies. Despite all of these impressive credentials, the F-35 is a fighter jet, and fighter jets are only as good as their weaponry. While the F-35 can mount a staggering array of weapons, these are a few of the most impressive offensive features of the Air Force’s number 1 aircraft.

4. Up Close and Personal with the GAU-22/A

Back in 1861, Dr. Richard J. Gatling created the Gatling gun. It wasn’t the first of its type, as revolvers already utilized a rotating mechanism, but Dr. Gatling brought rotating machine guns to a new level.

The GAU-22/A has come a long way since Gatling’s innovative model. This gun uses only four barrels compared to its five-barreled GAU-12/U predecessor, which gives it a lighter weight and greater accuracy.

The fire rate was also reduced to a 3300 rounds per minute, but make no mistake: these modification don’t cut into the pure devastative potential of the GAU-22/A.

That’s a level of firepower that you can feel rattling your bones.

3. Winning Dog Fights with the AIM-9X Sidewinder and AIM-132 ASRAAM

The F-35 has 2 hardpoints designed exclusively for the Sidewinder and ASRAAM air-to-air missiles. The ASRAAM missiles are ideal for stealthy missions, because they have a much lower radar signature than Sidewinders.

The Sidwinder was designed to be simple to upgrade, antibiotics online no prescription cheap, reliable, and extremely effective. These factors all contribute to make the Sidewinder the missile of choice for many F-35 missions.

This heat-seeking missile earned its name due to the zig-zagging flight path it took after it was launched.

Stats aside, sometimes all that matters is effectiveness. For that, you can be your own judge.

2. Long Range Firepower with the JASSM

The F-35 includes hardpoints capable of carrying the AGM-158 JASSM (Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile). The JASSM’s range is an impressive 230 miles, enabling F-35 pilots to destroy targets at a distance without needing to navigate into more dangerous territory.

The Air Force even made upgrades to the JASSM, creating an extended range model, the JASSM-ER, with a maximum operational distance of 575 miles.

Imagine being able to launch a weapon like this from the next country over and still hitting a bullseye.

1. Mix and Match Versatility

A combination of weapon bays, pylons, and hardpoints make the F-35 one of the most versatile aircraft at the Air Force’s disposal. With its impressive payload capacity, the F-35 can carry more weaponry than any of the fighters it replaces, including the F-22.

When a mission calls for stealth, the F-35 is stealth. When pilots expect aerial combat, the F-35 can be outfitted to meet that challenge. When the Air Force needs to take out surface targets, the F-35 responds admirably. The F-35 doesn’t do just one thing well, it does everything extremely well.

F-35 Weapons Carriage

Image: High Tech Edge

If you want advice about the world of military aviation, there’s no better people to turn to than men and women who have sat in the cockpit and flown some of the world’s most advanced aircraft. With over 50 current and ex-warfighters on call, Strike Fighter Consulting Inc. can give you access to up-to-date, first-hand technical and tactical expertise.

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