Here is an amazing video of the AC-130H Spectre, AC-130U Spooky & AC-130W Stinger II In Action
The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medevac, and cargo transport aircraft.
The versatile airframe has found uses in a variety of other roles, including as a gunship (AC-130), for airborne assault, search and rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance, aerial refueling, maritime patrol, and aerial firefighting.
It is now the main tactical airlifter for many military forces worldwide. More than 40 variants of the Hercules, including a civilian one marketed as the Lockheed L-100, operate in more than 60 nations.
Variants of Lockheed C-130 Hercules
- AC-130A Spectre (Project Gunship II, Surprise Package, Pave Pronto)
Conversions of C-130As; 19 completed; transferred to Air Force Reserve in 1975, retired in 1995.
- AC-130E Spectre (Pave Spectre, Pave Aegis)
Conversions of C-130Es; 11 completed; 10 upgraded to AC-130H configuration.
- AC-130H Spectre
Upgraded AC-130E aircraft; eight completed; last aircraft retired in 2015
- AC-130U Spooky
Operational aircraft (active duty USAF); 17 in service.
- AC-130J Ghostrider
Based on MC-130J; 32 aircraft to be procured to replace AC-130H.
- AC-130W Stinger II (former MC-130W Dragon Spear)
Conversions of MC-130Ws (active duty USAF).
The AC-130 is manufactured by Lockheed Martin, and Boeing is responsible for the conversion into its current technology, being a long-endurance ground-support variant of the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.
It’s very tough and is computer-controlled/assists with the wide array of anti-ground oriented delivery that is integrated with sophisticated sensors, navigation, and control systems.
The AC-130 relies on visual recognition, lasers, and or triangulation using various forms of data.
Because its large profile and low operating altitudes (around 7,000 ft) make it vulnerable
it usually flies close air support missions at night, and can commonly engage multiple ground units 6 miles away with decisive accuracy.