How Powerful is the New AC-130J Ghostrider
YouTube / Military TV
The AC-130 was already a well-respected ground-attack and close-air support gunship, but its newest variant might just push it to a whole other level.
Its latest version, the AC-130J Ghostrider, started development as part of a 2011 initiative to acquire more gunships based on the MC-130J Combat Shadow II variant.
The US aimed to increase the size of its gunship fleet to 33 aircraft by fitting an excellent precision strike package to the Combat Shadow II.
AC-130Js were delivered in 2015 with two planned Block configurations. Its Block 10 configuration features SDBs, laser-guided missiles, and an internal 30mm gun. Meanwhile, its Block 20 configuration would add a new 105 mm cannon, Hellfires on its wings, and infrared and radio-frequency countermeasures.
The AC-130J even expects a directed-energy weapon that can produce a beam to destroy AA missiles in the future, replacing its 30 mm in the process.
With how many upgrades are still lined up for the Ghostrider to receive, it’s entirely plausible to expected that this gunship will still be in service for a few more years.