Overseas media continue to ridicule the incident that took place on March 12 in Arizona. Initially, the news of the severe damage to the F-35B Lightning II (Lightning 2) during a night flight at the Yuma test site did not receive much publicity. But after the details of the ill-fated mission were published in the Pentagon’s Military.com, the newspapers and tabloids there began to troll the “flagship of the US Air Force and Navy.” And then the international press took up the baton of wicked irony.
The fact is that the F-35B naval fighter with a short take-off and a vertical landing, as The Drive’s website ironically, shot itself. And it’s not a joke! The 25-mm semi-armor-piercing high-explosive incendiary-tracer projectile PGU-32 / U blew up the front of the aircraft when the recoiling four-barreled GAU-22 / A Gatling cannon manufactured by General Dynamics was inside the outer capsule. Moreover, the pilot was busy with a completely different matter. The target was still far away, so the pilot did not even understand what had happened, but experienced a severe shock.
According to open sources, the GAU-22 / A Gatling cannon is installed above and slightly behind the left air intake of the F-35B. With a capacity of 220 ammunition, it has a rate of fire of up to 3300 rounds per minute. During firing, the stealth capsule opens up and, by the way, sharply worsens the stealth of the “invisibility”. The effective scattering surface increases to the level of 4+ machines. That is why the developer, Lockheed Martin, strongly opposed the Pentagon’s requests to install a “World War II system.” They say that for air battles it is necessary to use air-to-air missiles even before the fighter appears on the enemy’s radar screen. Kind of: fights are not the Lightning II’s hobbyhorse, therefore, you don’t need to be led by those who like to press the trigger. However, the customer insisted on an air cannon, arguing his requirements with the formula “There are no few weapons in air combat.”
The Air Force Command refers primarily to the experience of air battles over Vietnam. Then, according to Pentagon sources, the F-4 Phantoms also seemed to have an undeniable advantage in missile range. But the absence of a gun cost many American pilots their lives, since the MiG-21 easily entered direct confrontation, performing anti-missile maneuvers. The Yankees fear that the situation will repeat itself in our time, if, God forbid, they have to grapple with the highly maneuverable Su-57 and Su-35, which are optimized for dueling.
According to Military.com, the GAU-22 / A Gatling gun was first tested during flights by US Navy pilots in 2019 in the Pacific Ocean in the middle of the Solomon Sea. And in February 2020, The National Interest published what turned out to be a prophetic article “The F-35 cannot fire its cannon without committing suicide.”
To be fair, it was a version A stealth fighter, that is, the flagship of the US Air Force. Each time after firing the cannon, the mechanics found cracks in the outer stealth coating and dangerous damage to the wing spar. But that’s not all! “The problem is compounded by the fact that the F-35A cannon cannot hit the target, Writes NI. – Shooting accuracy during SDD [этапа разработки и демонстрации системы программы] did not meet the contract specifications … As a result, the true alignment of each F-35A cannon is unknown “…
By the way, there were no complaints about the F-35B version, since the capsule solution turned out to be better than the in-body one. However, the March incident with the attempted suicide of a fighter jet at the Yuma Proving Ground dashed Lockheed Martin’s hope of fixing the GAU-22 / A Gatling’s problems.
The injured F-35B is known to have been attached to the VMX-1 Marine Test and Assessment Squadron and is maintained by the best technical service in the US Navy. What is interesting: the very fact that the fighter was able to land on its own is also perceived as negative in relation to the ammunition already. Say, what “for garbage” if a fragmentation (!!!) projectile, which exploded 3 meters from the pilot in front and slightly to the right, did not touch the cockpit canopy.
At this point it is worth dwelling a little. The suicide fighter plane crash was originally designated Class A, indicating at least $ 2.5 million in damage or even a complete loss of the aircraft. And that was more like the truth, as Military.com reported serious damage. However, later the incident was reclassified into class “B”, which means minor damage costing from $ 60 thousand to $ 600 thousand.
But the local public does not believe in these miracles, knowing about the “agreements” of US Navy inspectors and top managers of Lockheed Martin. It is here, in Russia, that some are sure that there is no corruption in the “white and fluffy” USA, since then it makes no sense to support the pro-American opposition led by Weight, who just waves the flag of a fighter against bribe-takers and embezzlers. In fact, the overseas practice “by agreement of the parties” is a smokescreen of a corrupt society. It simply cannot be otherwise in the capitalist world. But unlike the Russian foolish governors who take bribes in cash and keep the money at home, the Yankees prefer offshore and bitcoins. Five years after retiring from the civil service, they become respectable millionaires thanks to cash laundries. Previously, “you can’t, they’ll torture you with checks.”
This largely explains the many complaints about the F-35 program, including problems with the GAU-22 / A Gatling cannon. Understandably, many US bloggers who sincerely hate the “secret government” did not ignore this topic.
User with nickname JustPassingThrough writes:
“It’s okay. Just keep selling these unnecessary things to NATO lackeys. ”
Forum user chuckmanwords also gave my comment:
“The F-35 saga continues. What’s wrong with America? She cannot win a single war, although she loves to start them. Bombing has become a national sport, watched closely by millions of fans from their couches at lunchtime. “
Blogger Bigdrone counted the most frequent nickname “invisible” on American Internet sites:
“Asshole”. Half of the comments here are just like that. “
However, this story with the F-35 suicide attempt over the Yuma test site may have a continuation related to our country. First black head of the Pentagon, general Lloyd Austin back in February, he accused “Russian hackers” of infiltrating the Pentagon’s network through SolarWinds software. A. Former Deputy Director of Information Technology and Cybersecurity, U.S. Navy Daniel Barrett said that from now on, the “long arm of the Kremlin” is capable of even launching an American missile at American cities. Means, to shoot from the F-35 cannon “they just spit.”
And although American professionals urge not to exaggerate the importance of the SolarWinds cyberattack because of the highest level of security of the Pentagon networks, the hysteria continues. Therefore, among the many publications about “a fighter that shot itself from its cannon”, one can read the following: “I bet it was the Russian hackers who had fun, but the pilot was lucky with a defective shell.”…