|On July 6 US Marines carried out the first successful test of the F-35B's GAU-22 gun pod. The gun pod, which will be used on the F-35B and C variants features a 220-round, 25 mm gun. The F-35 has fielded criticism for its gun, which at 55 rounds per second can empty its entire magazine in under four seconds.|
The F-35's smaller capacity reflects the future of close air support as military planners envision it. The F-35 will presumably usher in an era of quick and precise strikes that leverage a suite of sensors, electronic-warfare capabilities, and stealth.