If you are part of ground troops engaged in an assault on an enemy position, nothing makes you feel more secure than a piece of artillery flying above your head. And that’s where the AC-130 gunship comes in, this aircraft is literally “loaded for bear” and can virtually reign death from above on your enemies.
The Lockheed AC-130 gunship is a heavily armed, long-endurance, ground-attack variant of the C-130 Hercules transport, fixed-wing aircraft. It carries a wide array of ground attack weapons that are integrated with sophisticated sensors, navigation, and fire-control systems.
The AC-130 is the world’s biggest flying artillery gunship – nicknamed ‘Hell in the Sky’. ‘With three side-firing weapons, a 25mm Gatling gun, a 40mm Bofors cannon, and a 105mm howitzer, it’s easy to see why it got its name.
The gunship’s AC identifier stands for attack-cargo. The aircraft is powered by four turboprop engines and has a flight speed of 300 mph and a flight range of 1,300 miles, depending on weight. The AC–130 gunship’s primary missions are close air support, air interdiction and force protection.
Although the AC-130U conducts some operations in daylight, most of its combat missions are conducted at night. The AC-130H’s unit cost is US$132.4 million, and the AC-130U’s cost is $190 million (fiscal 2001 dollars).
As you will see in the video below, this aircraft is one “bad-ass” piece of machinery and it’s no wonder that when it’s called in to strike an enemy position, why it makes the bad guys crap their pants !!!