AC130

Lockheed Martin

AC130

AC130

The Lockheed AC-130 gunship is a heavily armed, long-endurance, ground-attack variant of the C-130 Hercules transport, fixed-wing aircraft. It carries a wide array of ground-attack weapons that are integrated with sophisticated sensors, navigation, and fire-control systems. Unlike other modern military fixed-wing aircraft, the AC-130 relies on visual targeting. Since its large profile and low operating altitudes around 7,000 feet (2,100 m) make it an easy target, its close air support missions are usually flown at night.

The airframe is manufactured by Lockheed Martin, while Boeing is responsible for the conversion into a gunship and for aircraft support.[8] Developed during the Vietnam War as "Project Gunship II", the AC-130 replaced the Douglas AC-47 Spooky, or "Gunship I". The sole operator is the United States Air Force, which uses the AC-130J Ghostrider. Close air support roles include supporting ground troops, escorting convoys, and urban operations. Air-interdiction missions are conducted against planned targets and targets of opportunity. Force-protection missions include defending air bases and other facilities. AC-130Js are based at Hurlburt Field, Florida and Cannon AFB, New Mexico;[9] gunships can be deployed worldwide.[10] The squadrons are part of the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), a component of the United States Special Operations Command.[11]

The AC-130 has an unpressurized cabin, with the weaponry mounted to fire from the port side of the fuselage. During an attack, the gunship performs a pylon turn, flying in a large circle around the target, so is able to fire at it for far longer than in a conventional strafing attack. The AC-130H Spectre was armed with two 20 mm M61 Vulcan cannons, one L/60 Bofors 40 mm cannon, and M137 105 mm cannon and M37 recoil mechanism from the M102 howitzer; after 1994, the 20 mm cannons were removed. The upgraded AC-130U Spooky has a 25 mm GAU-12 Equalizer cannon in place of the Spectre's two 20 mm cannons, an improved fire-control system, and increased ammunition capacity.[citation needed] The new AC-130J was based on the MC-130J Commando II special-operations tanker. The AC-130W Stinger II is a modified C-130H with upgrades including a precision strike package.[3]

AC130 CHARACTERISTICS

General characteristics

Performance

Maximum speed: 362 kn (416 mph, 669 km/h)
Service ceiling: 39,000 ft (12,000 m)
Armament
AC-130A Project Gunship II (retired)
4 × 7.62 mm GAU-2/A miniguns
4 × 20 mm (0.787 in) M61 Vulcan 6-barrel rotary cannon
AC-130A Surprise Package, Pave Pronto, AC-130E Pave Spectre (retired)
2× 7.62 mm GAU-2/A miniguns
2× 20 mm M61 Vulcan cannon
2× 40 mm (1.58 in) L/60 Bofors cannon
AC-130E Pave Aegis (retired)
2× 20 mm M61 Vulcan cannon
1× 40 mm (1.58 in) L/60 Bofors cannon
1× 105 mm (4.13 in) M102 howitzer
AC-130H Spectre (retired)[102]
(Prior to c. 2000)

2× 20 mm M61 Vulcan cannon
1× 40 mm (1.58 in) L/60 Bofors cannon
1× 105 mm (4.13 in) M102 howitzer
(Latest armament)[citation needed]

1× 40 mm (1.58 in) L/60 Bofors cannon
1× 105 mm (4.13 in) M102 howitzer
AC-130U Spooky II (retired)
1× General Dynamics 25 mm (0.984 in) GAU-12/U Equalizer 5-barreled rotary cannon
1× 40 mm (1.58 in) L/60 Bofors cannon
1× 105 mm (4.13 in) M102 howitzer
AC-130W Stinger II (retired) / AC-130J Ghostrider (in service)[31]
1× 30 mm ATK GAU-23/A autocannon[103]
1× 105 mm M102 howitzer[104][105][106][107]
'Gunslinger' weapons system with launch tube for AGM-176 Griffin missiles and/or GBU-44/B Viper Strike munitions (10 round magazines)[108]
Wing mounted, AGM-114 Hellfire missiles (AC-130J only), GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs (SDBs), and/or GBU-53/B SDB IIs[108] (4 per hardpoint on BRU-61/A rack)[109][110]


The AC-130W Stinger II is a modified C-130H with upgrades including a precision strike package.


About

SUPERJETs is a aircraft  enthusiast web page, dedicated to follow all the aircraft of past, present and futur. All of the material on this site is property of their respected owners and it is not permitted or intended for non other than personal non commercial use.

Who is ?
Contact us