Trump’s new and improved version of the Angel of Death takes to the skies after its long-awaited debut and it’s a beautiful thing! This heavyweight was first developed at Lockheed got some much-needed improvements, making it one of the most cutting-edge air-tanks in the sky.
“What do you get when you mix an aircraft with side-fired cannons, howitzers and mini-guns together?
What if you toss in some wing-mounted missiles and bombs, laser-guided missiles and the ability to loiter over a battlefield for a prolonged period?
If you said the AC-130, you’re right. For about 50 years, versions of the aircraft, known as the “Angel of Death” for its lethality, have been providing close-air support, air interdiction and armed reconnaissance to troops throughout the world.
As the Air Force gets ready to transition in the next few years to the latest version of the aircraft ― the AC-130J ― here’s a look at its history, future and some really cool details from Airman Magazine.”
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.
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, therefore being 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 L60 Bofors 40 mm cannon, and one 105 mm M102 howitzer; after 1994, the 20 mm cannons were removed.
The upgraded AC-130U Spooky has a single 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. 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,