Have you seen these gorgeous 100% Made in USA American flags? Click Here
Call Us (800) 692-0663

6 Fast Facts About the AC-130 Gunship

1280px-AC-130A_pylon_turnDeveloped by Lockheed Martin, the AC-130 gunship is arguably one of the most powerful air-to-ground assets in the U.S. military. In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at this heavily armed plane, revealing what makes it such a formidable weapon.

#1) It’s Used Exclusively By the US Air Force

While other countries have produced their own gunships, the AC-130 is used exclusively by the U.S. Air Force. No other country or military organization has this world-renown gunship.

#2) Spectre and Spooky

There are severel versions of the AC-130, including the Spectre and Spooky. The Spectre is typically warmed with two 20-mm M61 cannons, one 40-mm cannon and one 105-mm howitzer. However, the U.S. Air Force removed the 20-mm cannons around the mid-1990s. The Spooky is an upgraded variant of the AC-130, featuring one 25-mm cannon, two 20-mm cannons and other munitions delivery systems.

#3) $130 to $190 Million a Piece

According to the U.S. military’s website, the AC-130 costs between $130 to $190 million a piece. The AC-130U, the Spooky, is on the high end at $190 million, while the Spectre costs less. To put those numbers into perspective, the U.S. military’s new fighter jet, the F-35, costs about $95 million per unit. Therefore, the AC-130 remains one of the military’s most expensive aircraft. But ask any military professional and he or she will agree: the power conveyed by the AC-130 makes it well worth the cost.

#4) It’s Getting Laser Guns and Drones

No, that’s not a typo. The AC-130 is receiving a massive upgrade, including laser guns and drones. Reports indicate that the U.S. Air Force is looking to equip the AC-130 with a laser canon and air-launched drones.

#5) More Than a Dozen Crew

It takes more than a dozen highly trained crewmembers to operate the AC-130. The AC-130H, for instance, requires 14 crewmembers, including a pilot, co-pilot, navigator, electronic warfare officer, flight engineer, fire control officer, loadmaster, TV operator, infrared detection set operator, and five gunners. The AC-130U requires 13 crew, using four gunners instead of five.

#6) It Was Develeped During the Vietnam War

Contrary to popular belief, the AC-130 isn’t a new aircraft. It’s actually been around for many decades, with origins dating back to the Vietnam War. The first AC-130 took to the skies in 1966. And since then, it’s been used by the U.S. Air Force in nearly every major military conflict. Even today, the AC-130 continues to project force while supporting the U.S. military and its allies in operations throughout the world.

Join thousands of others receiving our newsletter.

Join our newsletter for patriotic news and limited time specials.

Join the Patriot Club
Get Discounts, Prizes and More!
Join thousands of others receiving our newsletter.