The Ministry of Defence have confirmed that there are “no plans” for British F-35B jets to be fitted with a gun pod.
The MoD was asked in a Freedom of Information request (the request was not submitted by the UK Defence Journal, by the way):
“Now that the UK has bought the F35b I was wondering if the MOD would be procuring the Gun pod for these aircraft?”
“Although the UK’s F-35B Lightning fleet is capable of being fitted with a gun pod, there are currently no plans for the UK to do so.”
The F-35B and F-35C have no internal gun and instead can use a Terma A/S multi-mission pod carrying the GAU-22/A and 220 rounds. Lockheed Martin say that the pod is mounted on the centerline of the aircraft and shaped to reduce its radar cross-section.
In lieu of the gun, the pod can also be used for different equipment and purposes, such as electronic warfare, aerial reconnaissance, or rear-facing tactical radar say the manufacturers.