|AC-130H Spectre/AC-130U Spooky|
Overview: The AC-130 gunship's primary missions
are close air support, air interdiction and force
protection. Missions in close air support are troops
in contact, convoy escort and urban operations. Air
interdiction missions are conducted against
preplanned targets or targets of opportunity. Force
protection missions include air base defense and
facilities defense. These heavily armed aircraft
incorporate side-firing weapons integrated with
sophisticated sensor, navigation and fire control
systems to provide surgical firepower or area
saturation during extended loiter periods, at night
and in adverse weather. The AC-130H is called
“Spectre,” and the AC-130U “Spooky.” The U-
model is the third generation of C-130 gunships.
All gunships evolved from the first operational
gunship, the AC-47 of the Vietnam era.
Corridor connections: Hurlburt Field, Fla.
|AC-130 with side-firing weapons.
|Air Force image
Primary function: Close air support, air
interdiction and force protection
Crew: AC-130U, 13
Power plant: 4 Allison T56-A-15 turboprop
Length: 97 feet, 9 inches
Height: 38 feet, 6 inches
Wingspan: 132 feet, 7 inches
Speed: 300 mph (Mach .4)
Ceiling: 25,000 feet
Armament: AC-130H: 40mm and 105mm
cannons; AC-130U: 40mm and 105mm
cannons and 25mm Gatling gun. AC-130Us
are being retrofitted with 30mm Mk-44 single
barrel cannons in place of the 40mm cannon
and the 25mm Gatling gun.
Range: About 1,300 nautical miles
Deployment date: AC-130H, 1972;
Inventory: Active duty, AC-130H, 8;
AC-130U, 17; Reserve, 0; ANG, 0
Source: U.S. Air Force