‘Ghostrider‘ gunship upgrade gives Air Force Special Operations Command its ‘most lethal aircraft‘

By – The Washington Times – Monday, March 11, 2019

The AC-130J Ghostrider gunship is officially the “most lethal aircraft” in Air Force Special Operations Command’s inventory.

Close air support for America’s elite warriors dramatically improved this month when the improved gunship and its “Precision Strike Package” was unveiled Wednesday at Bob Skies Airport in Crestview, Florida.

Special Forces Operators were previously assisted by the Block 20 version.

“The AC-130J Block 30 is our most lethal aircraft in the AFSOC inventory. We have tested Hellfire missiles on earlier model gunships,” AFSOC said in a statement, Air Force Times Monday. “Details about the weapon systems will be released as the aircraft is fully brought online through testing and evaluation.”

Other features and capabilities include:

  • Trainable 30 mm and 105 mm weapons.
  • Better software and avionics technology.
  • Six-bladed turboprop engines for additional speed and efficiency.
  • Burns 25 to 30 percent less gas.
  • New sensors, updated crew seats with additional safety features, and new technology, routers, and networks.

Staff Sgt. Victor Caputo, a spokesman for the 1st SOW, told Air Force Times that the AC-130J has also been reorganized to free up cargo compartment space.

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