US Air Force Special Operations Command Receives Final AC-130J Ghostrider Gunship
The U.S. Air Drive Particular Operations Command acquired its thirty first and remaining AC-130J Ghostrider Gunship, finishing the command’s transition from the legacy AC-130W, AC-130U and AC-130H fleets. Following a commemoration ceremony on the Lockheed Martin Gunship Modification Facility in Crestview November 2, the ultimate AC-130J was delivered to the twenty seventh Particular Operations Wing at Cannon Air Drive Base, New Mexico. Through the AC-130J Ghostrider dedication and supply ceremony, Lt. Gen. Jim Slife, AFSOC commander, represented the command on the ceremony and spoke about his expertise with buying and receiving the AC-130J. Slife recalled that it had been just a few years again when then Col. Slife, working on the Pentagon for the Workplace of Secretary of Protection, started the messaging and formative language that initiated this system that he’s seeing come full circle.
Lt. Col. Joe Allen, Gunship Program supervisor and narrator for the occasion, briefly mentioned the historical past of nostril artwork and the way it turned a standard manner of depicting the identify of an airplane. He additionally defined how pilots would stencil names or name indicators on their plane, offering a way of connection and additional a sense of pleasure for themselves and the crew that stored the airplane flying. Plane #31 is not any totally different and is being named in honor of Mr. Stan ‘Sluggo’ Siefke who was instrumental within the developments of the precision strike bundle previous to chopping first metallic on the MC-130W. Sluggo’s impacts on Whiskey and Ghostrider have been nothing wanting excellent and are honored to have him in attendance as we speak. Within the fall of 2009, the secretary of protection determined to recapitalize the AC-130 with C-130Js to construct the platforms. The primary J mannequin go into fight in the summertime of 2019 whereas serving because the AFSOC commander.
The AC-130J Ghostrider got here from a 2011 initiative which sought to amass 16 new gunships primarily based on newly constructed MC-130J Fight Shadow II special-operations tankers outfitted with a “precision strike bundle” to offer them an assault functionality, requesting $1.6 billion from fiscal years 2011 by 2015. This was to extend the scale of the gunship fleet to 33 plane, a web improve of eight after the deliberate retirement of eight getting old AC-130Hs. The primary plane could be purchased in fiscal 2012, adopted by two in fiscal 2013, 5 in fiscal 2014, and the ultimate eight in fiscal 2015. The AC-130J will comply with the trail of the Dragon Spear program. On 9 January 2013, the Air Drive started changing the primary MC-130J Fight Shadow II into an AC-130J Ghostrider. The primary AC-130J Ghostrider was delivered to AFSOC on 29 July 2015. The primary AC-130J gunships achieved preliminary operational functionality (IOC) on 30 September 2017.
The AC-130J has two deliberate increments: the Block 10 configuration consists of an inner 30 mm gun, small diameter bombs, and laser-guided missiles launched from the rear cargo door; and Block 20 configuration provides a 105 mm cannon, massive plane infrared countermeasures, wing-mounted Hellfire missiles, and radio-frequency countermeasures. The Air Drive determined so as to add a 105 mm cannon to the AC-130J along with the 30 mm cannon and good bombs, the shells being extra correct and cheaper than dropping SDBs. AFSOC is actively pursuing a directed-energy weapon on board the AC-130J instead of the 30 mm gun by 2022, much like the earlier Superior Tactical Laser program. It’s to supply a beam of as much as 120 kW, or probably even 180–200 kW, weigh about 5,000 lb (2,300 kg), defensively destroy antiaircraft missiles, and offensively interact communications towers, boats, automobiles, and plane.
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