The F-35 Lightning II, the U.S. military’s fifth-generation fighter jet, was captured on camera testing its new gun.
In a video, test pilot Maj. Charles “Flak” Trickey fired the F-35A’s internal 25mm Gatling gun system. It’s pretty powerful, capable of firing as much as 3,300 rounds a minute. The four-barrel gun remains underneath a trap door in the left wing of the plane near the cockpit, according to LiveScience.
“Just going out there today to make sure the functionality — loads, fiber, acoustics — all that stuffed worked and it absolutely did. It went about as smooth as you could have expected on the first flight,” Trickey said in the video.
The maker, Lockheed Martin, also issued a statement, saying it was successful.
“The successful aerial gun test sortie was a culmination of several years’ planning, which intensified in the first half of 2015 at the Edwards F-35 Integrated Test Force Flight Test Squadron with a team of Air Force, Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman personnel,” Mike Glass, Edwards ITF flight test director, stated. “The results of this testing will be used in future blocks of testing, where the accuracy and mission effectiveness capabilities will be evaluated.”
As Wired magazine reported, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program as a whole–including the F-35B and F-35C–will cost more than $350 billion over its lifetime.