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Wednesday, February 04, 2015

The Air Force’s New Gunships Shake, Rattle and Roll

AC-130J GhostriderThe U.S. Air Force’s newest AC-130J Ghostrider gunships will enter service later than expected because of plans to load extra weapons on the four-engine planes. But the Pentagon’s top weapons tester is even more worried that other nagging problems could hold up the aircraft.

In 2014, crews had trouble picking out targets because the two prototypes were shaking so much in the air, according to the latest annual report from the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation.

On top of that, one of the aircraft had a mid-air accident that completely shut down test flights. “Several problems require resolution and will affect the subsequent development test schedule,” the report explains.

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