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The U.S. Air Force's New AC-130 Gunships Are Really Bomb Trucks
Foxtrot Alpha ^ | June 1, 2014 | Tyler Rogoway

Posted on 06/03/2014 11:55:09 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki

The AC-130 flying gunship fleet is one of the most fabled and feared assets in the entire USAF inventory. Known for its ability to unleash a broadside of cannon fire in the dead of night, the newest of the AC-130 lot is more about smart bombs than raining lead and howitzer shells down on the enemy.

Before the turn of the decade it became clear that the aging AC-130 fleet was in low supply and exceedingly high demand. As a result the Air Force Special Operations Command decided that it should augment the existing fleet on AC-130H and AC-130Us in the short term, as well as replace a portion of them in the long term.

The outcome of this decision was to outfit a portion of the MC-130W Dragon Speer special operations Hercules aircraft with a semi-modular kit called the Precision Strike Packages (PSP), similar to but more elaborate than the Marine's Harvest Hawk kit, which would give these Hercules the ability to perform Close Air Support (CAS), ISTAR (Information, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance), armed over-watch and support Special Forces missions without having to buy an entirely new aircraft. In the longer term the AC-130J, based entirely on the newer and much improved Super Hercules platform, would replace older AC-130Hs that had reached the end of their service lives.

(Excerpt) Read more at foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ac130; aerospace; armsbuildup; c130; miltech; usaf

1 posted on 06/03/2014 11:55:09 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Puff the Magic Dragon!


2 posted on 06/03/2014 12:01:30 PM PDT by DonkeyBonker (Hard to paddle against the flow of sewage coming out of the White House.)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

I can remember in the early 60s watching a firepower demonstration at Eglin. One thing which was a crowd pleaser was they would have a Hercules land in an overgrown field, reverse it’s props and just before stopping on a dime, it would then roar away again.

That was over 50 years ago.


3 posted on 06/03/2014 12:01:55 PM PDT by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Yet they can’t find the money to upgrade to an AC-130J.


4 posted on 06/03/2014 12:02:28 PM PDT by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Me likey. Fire from above. Oooowww Raahhhh! Pity any fool inside the circle.


5 posted on 06/03/2014 12:08:20 PM PDT by rktman (Ethnicity: Nascarian. Race: Daytonafivehundrian)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Kinda wonder why back during B-17’s massive bomb runs to Germany they didn’t have several “Old Lady 666” kind to fight off the German fighters?


6 posted on 06/03/2014 12:09:07 PM PDT by hamboy
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To: Jet Jaguar; Bender2

Ping.


7 posted on 06/03/2014 12:12:04 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
Known for its ability to unleash a broadside of cannon fire in the dead of night, the newest of the AC-130 lot is more about smart bombs than raining lead and howitzer shells down on the enemy.

This is the absolutely wrong approach. Keep costs down and use dumb weapons. Scare the crap out of the enemy, screw collateral damage. Muslims should either be dead, crippled or submitting in fear. Do this without raising my taxes.

8 posted on 06/03/2014 12:12:37 PM PDT by ConservativeInPA (We need to fundamentally transform RATs lives for their lies.)
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To: ConservativeInPA

You’re confused.
This weapons system is intended for the Tea Party...


9 posted on 06/03/2014 12:14:50 PM PDT by nascarnation (Toxic Baraq Syndrome: hopefully infecting a Dem candidate near you)
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To: sukhoi-30mki

First flew in 1955.

Who are they going to use this on? US?


10 posted on 06/03/2014 12:20:51 PM PDT by Sequoyah101
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To: DonkeyBonker

Watched “Puff’s” work in the Delta many times -—AWESOME!


11 posted on 06/03/2014 12:21:12 PM PDT by TaMoDee (Go Pack Go! The Pack will be back in 2014!)
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To: nascarnation

I fear you are right.


12 posted on 06/03/2014 12:22:30 PM PDT by mcshot (..."And this too shall end.")
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To: ConservativeInPA

The problem is that gunships like these often hit targets that are in close contact with US forces.

The precision is required to reduce the risk of killing friendlies.


13 posted on 06/03/2014 12:25:26 PM PDT by tanknetter
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To: hamboy

They did... (and it didn’t work very well)

http://www.defensemedianetwork.com/stories/my-brilliant-mistake-the-yb-40/


14 posted on 06/03/2014 12:32:42 PM PDT by Tallguy
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To: DonkeyBonker

Puffs were c-46 and c-47s.


15 posted on 06/03/2014 12:32:53 PM PDT by razorback-bert (Due to the high price of ammo, no warning shot will be fired.)
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To: tanknetter

... and ManPads are making the AC-130’s job increasingly hazardous. Using PGM’s in lieu of mini-guns and the lightweight cannon is a way to gain a little more stand-off range. But that complicates things as Close Air Support becomes, err, a little more distant.


16 posted on 06/03/2014 12:35:08 PM PDT by Tallguy
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To: sukhoi-30mki

My favorite AC-130:

The AC-130A Spectre is a C-130 converted to a gunship, primarily for night attacks against ground targets. To enhance its armament’s effectiveness, it used various sensors, a target acquisition system, and infrared and low-light television systems. The versatile C-130 Hercules, originally designed in the 1950s as an assault transport, was adapted for a variety of missions, including weather mapping and reconnaissance, mid-air space capsule recovery, search and rescue, ambulance service, drone launching, mid-air refueling of helicopters, and as a gunship. The C-130 could transport up to 92 combat troops and their gear or 45,000 pounds of cargo. Where facilities were inadequate, the Hercules could deliver cargo by parachute or by a using a low-altitude parachute extraction system without landing.

The crew of this AC-130A Spectre gunship, named Azrael (Azrael, in the Koran, is the angel of death who severs the soul from the body) displayed courage and heroism during the closing hours of Operation Desert Storm. On Feb. 26, 1991, Coalition ground forces were driving the Iraqi army out of Kuwait. Azrael was sent to the Al Jahra highway between Kuwait City and Basrah, Iraq, to intercept the convoys of tanks, trucks, buses and cars fleeing the battle. Facing numerous enemy batteries of SA-6 and SA-8 surface-to-air missiles, and 37mm and 57mm radar-guided anti-aircraft artillery, the crew attacked the enemy skillfully, inflicting significant damage on the convoys. The crew’s heroic efforts left much of the enemy’s equipment destroyed or unserviceable, contributing to the defeat of the Iraqi forces. On Feb. 28, 1991, Iraq agreed to a cease-fire.

http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=412


17 posted on 06/03/2014 12:35:21 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$
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To: mad_as_he$$

Is the AC-130J going to be longer and more loiter time?


18 posted on 06/03/2014 12:36:08 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: GeronL

Classified:

Specifications | AC-130JPrimary Function: Fixed-wing overwatch and close-air-support aircraft
Prime Contractor: Lockheed Martin Corp.
Power Plant: 4x Rolls-Royce AE-2100D3 turboprop engines with 4,591 shp each
Wingspan: 132 ft 7 in (40.41 m)
Length: 97 ft 9 in (29.79 m)
Height: 38 ft 9 in (11.81 m)
Weight (Empty): Unknown
Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW): 164,000 lbs (74,390 kg)
Fuel Capacity: Unknown
Payload: Unknown
Speed: Cruise: 335 kts/386 mph (620 km/h)
Service Ceiling: 33,000 ft (10,000 m)
Range: Unknown
Armament/Weapons:
Precision Strike Package (PSP): 10-tube launcher for Special Operations Precision Guided Munitions (SOPGMS)
and a side-mounted Alliant Techsystems Mk 44 Bushmaster 30mm gun.
SOPGMS include the MBDA GBU-44/B Viper Strike and the Raytheon AGM-175 Griffin short-range air-to-surface missile.
Crew: Basic Crew: Three officers (pilot, co-pilot and combat system officer) + two enlisted loadmasters
Price/Unit Cost: $78.4 million flyaway cost (2012)
+ $10 million in special operations conversion costs
+ $19 million for the Precision Strike Package (PSP) - note that these figures exclude training equipment expenses, testing costs etc.
First Flight: Unknown
Deployed: First aircraft purchased in FY 2012. Initial Operating Capability scheduled for 2015.
Aircraft Inventory: No aircraft yet delivered - First AC-130J under construction


19 posted on 06/03/2014 12:43:50 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$
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To: sukhoi-30mki
 photo IMGP0151.jpgI live sort of half way between Eglin and Tyndall but am out of their usual flight patterns. I do sometimes see a Hercules in the daytime although they usually arrive around dusk. This one was flying right over the house.
20 posted on 06/03/2014 12:47:46 PM PDT by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
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To: yarddog
 photo IMGP0156.jpg
21 posted on 06/03/2014 12:50:28 PM PDT by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
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To: mad_as_he$$

as military aircraft go, $19 million seems like a bargain


22 posted on 06/03/2014 12:55:38 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
Ouch.
23 posted on 06/03/2014 1:11:11 PM PDT by JPG (Yes We Can morphs into Make It Hurt.)
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To: JPG

That’s not ouch, that’s just countermeasures.


24 posted on 06/03/2014 1:31:08 PM PDT by Bulwyf
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To: tanknetter
The precision is required to reduce the risk of killing friendlies.

Understood. My entire concept of warfare against Muslims is on a different level. Friendlies would be on the ground under completely different circumstances. In other words, only after all water, fuel, crops have been tainted or destroyed. The enemy would be carpet bombed by B-52's until Muslims are either dead or deaf. Friendlies are only needed when a dead Muslim isn't good enough and a live one is needed or when we are trying to hold ground. Holding ground includes identifying the enemy, e.g., check points. Enemy identified equals enemy dead. I like I said before, I don't care about collateral damage. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq should have been concluded by 2002. With Iran surrounded, Iran should have been conquered in 2003.

25 posted on 06/03/2014 2:41:28 PM PDT by ConservativeInPA (We need to fundamentally transform RATs lives for their lies.)
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To: yarddog

I helped install the mounting brackets for the Gatling gun on one of the old C-47s (gooney birds) that was the first puffs. This was also at Eglin AFB in Florida.


26 posted on 06/03/2014 2:58:54 PM PDT by my right
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To: nascarnation

The direction things are headed, I believe that. Whether I will be around when it happens is another question.


27 posted on 06/03/2014 3:41:52 PM PDT by sport
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To: Sequoyah101

The direction things are headed, it would not surprise me.


28 posted on 06/03/2014 3:43:18 PM PDT by sport
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To: nascarnation
The ones for the enemy are designed to drop prayer rugs, water bottles, and apology pamphlets.

Once in a while a subpeona to appear for court.

29 posted on 06/03/2014 3:49:35 PM PDT by TurboZamboni (Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.-JFK)
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To: TurboZamboni

I wonder if a poor country could strap guns and rockets to a cheap civilian copter and get something usable against more than common thugs in technicals?


30 posted on 06/03/2014 3:51:04 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: sport

I read it and had a vision of my house being cut to splinters.


31 posted on 06/03/2014 3:59:40 PM PDT by Sequoyah101
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To: sukhoi-30mki
Interesting. I spent a lot of time at Wright Field back in the 1950s trying to figure out how to transfer target information from an inertial navigation system inside an airplane to a missile hanging on the wing, where it was subjected to wing twisting and oscillations, as well as aerodynamic effects of its own. We never did get a really satisfactory solution. Lasers and GPS make an enormous difference.
32 posted on 06/03/2014 5:00:09 PM PDT by JoeFromSidney (Book: Resistance to Tyranny. Buy from Amazon.)
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To: my right

Back in the 60s the Air Force Special Forces were at Field 9 on Eglin. they changed it to Hurlburt Field still quite a while back. Now Hurlburt is a separate Air Force Base tho it is located on Eglin.

I had a distant relative who was a Green Beret, killed in Afghanistan. He was from DeFuniak and tho he was Army They flew his body to Hurlburt where they had a long line of Air Force special ops soldiers formed an honor guard. They flew his body to his home town by helicopter although it was only about 25 miles away.


33 posted on 06/03/2014 7:41:01 PM PDT by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
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To: hamboy

There was a heavily up-gunned B-17, YB-40, with multiple powered turrets and no bomb load. The weight saved was devoted to carrying extra .50-cal ammo.

Unfortunately, the modifications changed the aircraft’s basic outline sufficiently for it to be easily identified by attacking German fighter aircraft. But, that wasn’t the worse problem.

After the bomb run was completed the aircraft couldn’t keep up with the rest of the formation, it was significantly heavier than the empty B-17s returning to England.


34 posted on 06/03/2014 8:25:41 PM PDT by Nip (BOHEICA and TANSTAAFL - both seem very appropriate today.)
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To: Army Air Corps; blueyon; KitJ; T Minus Four; xzins; CMS; The Sailor; ab01; txradioguy; ...

Active Duty ping.


35 posted on 06/03/2014 8:27:33 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar (Resist in place.)
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