« Back to List

AC-130 Gunship


The AC-130 Gunships are built around the proven C-130 Hercules airframe. These aircraft are equipped with various ground attack weapons, making close air support and armed surveillance their primary roles.

AC-130H Spectre

Status

Retired

Contractor

Primary contractor: Lockheed Martin

Crew

Officers
1 Pilot
1 Co-pilot
1 Navigator
1 Fire Control Officer
1 Electronic Warfare Officer
Enlisted Personnel
1 Flight Engineer
1 Loadmaster
1 Low-light TV Operator
1 Infrared Detection Set Operator
5 Aerial Gunners

Characteristics

Dimensions
Length: 29.79 meters 97.75 feet
Wingspan: 40.41 meters 132.58 feet
Height: 11.73 meters 38.5 feet
Weight
Maximum takeoff weight: ~70 300 kilograms 155 000 pounds
Features
Power plant: 4 "Allison T56-A-15 turboprop engines
Thrust: 4 910 shaft horsepower (each engine)
Speed: Mach 0.40 » ~480 kilometers per hour (at sea level) 300 miles per hour (at sea level)
Ceiling: 7 620 meters 25 000 feet
Range: 1 300 nautical miles » 2 400 kilometers 1 500 miles

Timeline

1972 - Date deployed

AC-130U Spooky

The AC-130U Spooky’s primary missions are close air support, air interdiction and armed reconnaissance. Close air support missions include troops in contact, convoy escort and point air defense. Air interdiction missions are conducted against preplanned targets or targets of opportunity and include strike coordination and reconnaissance and armed overwatch mission sets.
AC-130U Spooky Copyright © http://www.americanspecialops.com

Status

In active service

Contractors

Primary contractor: Lockheed Martin
Primary contractor: Boeing

Crew

Officers
1 Pilot
1 Co-Pilot
1 Navigator
1 Fire Control Officer
1 Electronic Warfare Officer
Enlisted Personnel
1 Flight Engineer
1 TV Operator
1 Infrared Detection Set Operator
1 Loadmaster
4 Aerial Gunners

Characteristics

Dimensions
Length: 29.79 meters 97.75 feet
Wingspan: 40.41 meters 132.58 feet
Height: 11.73 meters 38.5 feet
Weight
Maximum takeoff weight: ~70 300 kilograms 155 000 pounds
Features
Power plant: four Allison T56-A-15 turboprop engines
Thrust: 4 910 shaft horsepower (each engine)
Speed: Mach 0.4 » ~480 kilometers per hour (at sea level) 300 miles per hour (at sea level)
Ceiling: ~9 140 meters 30 000 feet
Range: 1 300 nautical miles » ~2 500 kilometers (limited by crew duty day with air refueling) ~1 550 miles (limited by crew duty day with air refueling)

Timeline

1995 - Date delpoyed

AC-130W Stinger II

The primary mission of the AC-130W Stinger II is armed overwatch. While similar to the AC-130’s missions, Stinger II is primarily focused on performing reconnaissance over friendly positions and may directly deliver ordnance to precise targets to support ground forces.
AC-130W Stinger II Copyright © U.S. Air Force

Status

In active service

Contractor

Primary contractor: Lockheed Martin

Features

Modifications to the AC-130W include a mission management console, communications suite, two electro-optical/infrared sensors, fire control equipment, precision guided munitions delivery capability; and one side-firing, trainable 30mm gun with tracer-less ammunition and associated munitions storage system. The AC-130W Stinger II Precision Strike Package modification provides ground forces an expeditionary, persistent direct fires platform that delivers precision low-yield munitions, ideally suited for urban operations.

Crew

2 Pilots
2 Combat Systems Officers
1 Flight Engineer
2 Special Mission Aviators

Weapon systems

GAU-23/A 30mm Autocannon
Under-wing Hardpoint
» AGM-114 Hellfire
» GBU-39B Small Diameter Bomb
» GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb II
Gunslinger Weapons System (launch tube with 10-round magazines)
» AGM-176 Griffin
» GBU-44/B Viper Strike

Characteristics

Dimensions
Length: 29.79 meters 97.75 feet
Wingspan: 40.41 meters 132.58 feet
Height: 11.84 meters 38.83 feet
Weight
Maximum takeoff weight: ~70 300 kilograms 155 000 pounds
Features
Power plant: four Allison T56-A-15 turboprop engines
Thrust: 4 910 shaft horsepower (each engine)
Speed: Mach 0.4 » ~480 kilometers per hour (at sea level) 300 miles per hour (at sea level)
Ceiling: ~7 620 meters 25 000 feet
Range: 2 500 nautical miles » ~4 630 kilometers (limited by crew duty day with air refueling) ~2 870 miles (limited by crew duty day with air refueling)

AC-130J Ghostrider

Status

Under development

Contractor

Primary contractor: Lockheed Martin

Crew

2 Pilots
2 Combat Systems Officers
3 Enlisted Gunners

Characteristics

Dimensions
Length: 29.79 meters 97.75 feet
Wingspan: 40.41 meters 132.58 feet
Height: 11.84 meters 38.83 feet
Weight
Maximum takeoff weight: ~74 390 kilograms 164 000 pounds
Features
Power plant: four Rolls-Royce AE 2100D3 Turboprops
Thrust: 4 591 shaft horsepower (each engine)
Speed: 362 knots true airspeed, Mach 0.59 » ~671 kilometers per hour (at 22 000 feet - 6 700 meters) ~417 miles per hour (at 22 000 feet - 6 700 meters)
Ceiling: ~8 530 meters (with 42 000 pounds - 19 050 kilograms of payload) 28 000 feet (with 42 000 pounds - 19 050 kilograms of payload)
Range: 2 600 nautical miles » ~4 820 kilometers ~3 000 miles