The Trillion Dollar F-35 Won't Even be Able to Shoot its Gun Until 2019

By Adam Clark Estes on at

At this point, it's not even funny how much the Pentagon has screwed up the development of its new stealth fighter jet, the F-35. But the latest report that the jet's 25mm cannon won't be operational until 2019 at the earliest is just laughable. Even more laughable is that it probably doesn't even need the gun to begin with.

Unnamed US Air Force officials revealed the bad news in a Daily Beast story about the F-35. Apparently the software that will power the four-barreled rotary cannon on the Air Force version of the jet, the F-35A, won't be ready for at least four more years. The US Navy and Marine Corps version use a different cannon, but it'll also be years before the software's ready for those guns.

The real kicker here is that the gun is probably just dead weight (read: a waste of taxpayer dollars) anyways. The F-35A's cannon can fire 3,300 rounds per minute but can only hold 180 rounds. "I would be lying if I said there exists any plausible tactical air-to-air scenario where the F-35 will need to employ the gun," one senior US Air Force official told the Daily Beast. "Personally, I just don't see it ever happening and think they should have saved the weight [by getting rid of the gun altogether]."

The jet, which is also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, is already the most expensive weapon in American history. It's expected to cost the Pentagon well over £642 billion over the next 50 years. And little hiccups like this only add more taxpayer money to that price tag. [Daily Beast]

Image via AP