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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ghostrider’s Big Gun: AC-130J Gets 105 ASAP; Laser Later

An AC-130U’s 105 mm cannonSometimes smart bombs aren’t the smart choice. Sometimes you just need a big bad flying gun. That’s why the aging AC-130 gunship is still revered by ground troops for its ability to fire a 105mm cannon — a weapon normally mounted on light tanks.

That’s why the head of Air Force Special Operations Command, Lt. Gen. Bradley Heithold, decided the new model, the AC-130J Ghostrider, had to have the 105 instead of relying on missiles.

And that’s why Heithold will fight to slow the rate at which older AC-130s are retiring.

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