ac 130u


The AC-130H Spectre and the AC-130U Spooky primary missions are close air support, air interdiction and armed reconnaissance.

Photo Series 21 - Versatility across a century

The star of this edition is an old friend of many air forces around the globe, it’s so versatile that it has gone into space and came back  that it has more than 40 variants including an armed version, an eletronic support platform, a tanker and a civilian freighter variant. Yes, i’m talking about the Lockheed C-130 Hercules.

Developed during the 1950s, the Hercules was designed as a combat transport plane from scratch, that allowed the airframe to be built for the proper job which was completely different from transports that were converted from civilian aircraft.

The C-130 soon became famous for it’s versatility, the ability to land on unprepared runways allowed it to operate from hard to reach places, this feature is especially useful during disaster reliefs when airport infrastructure suffers extensive damage. This combine with troop transport and medvac makes it the ideal platform to perform operations during war and peacetime periods.

Other variants and roles 

AC-130 - Gunship variant, the badass ground attack aircraft armed with a 25 mm GAU-12/U Equalizer, a 40 mm Bofors cannon and a 105 mm  M102 howitzer, this configuration is for the AC-130U Spooky II and the AC-130H Spectre.

EC-130 - An airborne command post that was retired and it’s role was taken over by E-8 JSTARS and E-3 AWACS aircraft. The latest variant EC-130J is a psychological operations aircraft operated by the US Air National Guard, it’s role is to basically transmit broadcasts in the AM, FM, HF, TV and military transmission bands.

MC-130 - SPECOPS (Special Operations) aircraft, these aircrafts perform infiltration, exfil and support of special operation units such as helicopters and ground forces. During the Iranian hostage crisis, a Combat Talon (MC-130H) was modified to land on an Iranian soccer stadium near the US Embassy using rocket jets placed along the airframe, this aircraft was designated YMC-130H although full modification was done the plane crashed during testing resulting on a total loss, the entire Credible Sport operation was cancelled.

I only wrote about the variants that has photos in the post, i wish i could bring them all but IT HAS TOO MANY FREAKIN VARIANTS the post would be extremely long although all of the C-130 versions has interesting roles and shows how versatile this airframe has been since it’s development in the 50′s.

A last info to be brought is that the Hercules alongside the English Electric Canberra, B-52 Stratofortress, Tu-95 Bear and the KC-135 Stratotanker, has reach the 50 year mark of continuous operation with it’s original user, the United States Air Force. It also has the mark of 60 years of continuous production making it the longest continuously produced military aircraft, the lastest version is the C-130J Super Hercules.

I’d like to give my thanks to @rigs83-stuff for the awesome C-130J pic, it’s the first one, at the top of the post.

If you have any suggestions, contributions or just wanna talk, don’t be shy, i’m here everyday.

Have a great day!!!!!

A 25mm Gatling-type rotary cannon fires down on Pilsung Range from an AC-130U Spooky gunship during exercise Teak Knife 12-3 over the Republic of Korea, Sept. 12, 2012. Teak Knife 12-3 highlights the longstanding military partnership between the U.S. and ROK by enhancing the combat readiness of U.S. and Republic of Korea Special Operations and supporting forces through combined and joint live-fire training. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Craig Cisek)

In 1964, the first USAF gunship, the Douglas FC-47, enters service in Vietnam.

The gunship idea had been making slow progress under Project Tailchaser through the end of 1963 and the early part of 1964. Under Project Gunship, Captain Ron Terry implemented three-gun, remote-firing capabilities into a pair of converted Douglas C-47B Skytrains using modified SUU-11/A gun pods. 

Flying their first experimental mission on December 15, 1964, the aircraft, officially dubbed “Spooky” but more commonly known as “Puff, the Magic Dragon.” launched out of Bien Hoa Air Base, South Vietnam and attacked enemy sampans, buildings, trails and suspected jungle staging areas raining devastation from above with their rotary miniguns.

Over the next few weeks, 16 combat sorties were flown, all considered successful. Over the next year, the U.S. Air Force quickly implemented a program to standardize and formally create AC-47 aircraft and experiment with two successors, the Fairchild AC-119G Shadow and AC-119K Stinger and the Lockheed AC-130 Spectre, establish Air Commando units, organize training programs, and implement tactics consistent with the aircraft’s capabilities. The program was so successful that it is still part of the U.S. Air Force arsenal, with the Lockheed AC-130H “Spectre” and AC-130U “Spooky” currently deployed and the AC-130J “Ghostrider” scheduled for deployment in 2017.

Lockheed AC-130H SPECTRE

Unlike other military fixed-wing aircraft, the AC-130 relies on visual targeting and operates at low-altitude (roughly 7,000 ft). The United States Air Force is the sole user, using the current AC-130U Spooky II variant

bigmike255  asked:

what do you think of the upgrade to spooky. from 40mm to the 25mm. i think its more a down grade. i hope you enjoyed your day brother. if you need to vent i am always here to chat. its the least i can do since i couldnt join up

The AC-130U Spooky has the 105mm, the 40mm and the 25mm.
The AC-130W Combat Wombat (OK, Stinger II) started off with just the 30mm GAU-23 Cannon as well as GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs… But she is being retrofitted with the 105mm.
The AC-130J Ghostrider 30mm & 105mm, GBU-39s & AGM-176 Griffin missiles.

I personally loved the 40mm. With 100 rounds a min, she was deadly accurate and fast enough. The USAF has had its shares of growing pains with both the 25mm and 30mms. 105mm is just a fucking beast with many options of round types. It’s good to see the USAF coming to its senses and adding them back on the newer gunships.