Another check in the block for the F-35 program and a bit of aviation history was recently made when the Air Test and Evaluation Squadron VX23 at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River completed airborne testing of the F-35B gun.
Watch Earlier Ground Testing of the F-35 Gun
Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two Three (VX-23) is NAVAIR’s largest flight test organization. The squadron’s mission is to support the RDT&E of fixed wing tactical aircraft by providing aircraft and pilot assets, maintenance services, safety oversight and facility support for these efforts.
VX-23 consists of approximately 45 officers (Navy, Marine Corps and foreign nationals), 90 enlisted (Navy and Marine Corps), 45 civil service and 965 contractor employees directly involved with aircraft maintenance, test planning and conduct, safety oversight and support of the squadron’s 44 F/A-18A-D Hornet, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler, T-45A/C Goshawk aircraft and EA-6B Prowler. – Naval Air Warfare Center
If you don’t already know, the F-35B is the variant that the US Marine Corps will be using and has Short Takeoff and Vertical Landing (STOVL) capabilities. The gun is actually mounted to the aircraft as a pod, can fire a 25 mm projectile at 55 rounds per second and carries 220 maximum rounds.
Featured image of F-35B airborne gun test from U.S. Navy Video by Dane Wiedmann