Lightning Bolts

Posted 7 February 2015
Photo by Matthew Short

An F-35A Lightning II test aircraft at Edwards AFB, California, is pictured with its F-35 Systems Development and Demonstration, or SDD, weapons suite the aircraft is designed to carry. The F-35 can carry more than 4,000 pounds of ordinance internally in Low Observable (stealth) mode and more than 18,000 pounds internally and externally on missions in uncontested or lower threat environments. The combination of weapons available for the F-35 includes AIM-9X short-range and AIM-120C medium-range air-to-air missiles; 500 pound GBU-12 laser-guided bombs; 2,000 pound GBU-31 GPS-guided Joint Direct Attack Munitions, 250 pound GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs featuring GPS-aided inertial guidance; and a 25mm GAU-22/A shoulder-mounted internal gun. (Click on the images to see the weapon identifications.) On the F-35B and F-35C the gun is mounted on a removable under fuselage centerline pod.

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