The U.S. is known for creating some of the greatest military crafts, but one aircraft known as the AC-47 is claimed to be the deadliest aircraft in the world due to its design and special features. Lockheed Martin designed the C-130 in the 1950s with the main goal of the project being transport that changed in the 1960s.
Boeing also worked on the new aircraft by the end of the1960s converting the cargo aircraft into what was deemed the deadliest aircraft in the world, the AC-130 Hercules. The new aircraft gained the increased capacity and endurance to carry military weapons built to fit as a perfect replacement for the AC-47 Spooky gunship. The new aircraft also featured technology from previous fixed-wing gunships.
The AC-130 was responsible to provide soldiers with close air support of highly maneuverable special operations forces while disrupting enemy convoys and other ground maneuvers. The first flight of the AC-130 was deployed in Southeast Asia to protect the strategic friendly forces in Vietnam but as the war progressed, the gunship was equipped with weapons for interdiction for the supply lines coming out of North Vietnam destroying routes, supply points, and 10,000 enemy trucks.
The new AC-130 was similar to the AC-47 with capabilities off lying higher than helicopters with added idle time allowing the aircraft to shoot concentrated fir to a single ground target. The AC-130 was in military action starting during the Vietnam War and continues to be a valuable asset to the United States armed forces receiving modern updates constantly improving the technology.
The main functioning part of the system is the 30 crewmembers working together on missions for close air support and armed reconnaissance. Modern military conflicts require the increased deployment of Special Operations Forces with soldiers engaging in combat situations utilizing the critical resource of air support. The AC-130 can execute a pylon turn that relies heavily on physics with airspeed, the right angle of bank, and consistency as every shot is accurate.
The AC-130 is fitted with a highly complex system of avionics, hydraulics, sensors, and armament along with a team of skilled technicians to support the aircraft working towards completing a mission’s objective. The AC-130 is equipped with a 40-millimeter and 105-millimetercannon for some heavy firepower along with capabilities to conduct night missions by locating enemy targets to destroy.
The AC-130 has been used by the U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, Grenada, Somalia, Panama, Desert Storm, and Iraq. The military has expressed an interest in developing more AC-130 warships as the military is leaning more on special operations forces with a premonition of more AC-130airships to be developed in the future.
The newest version of the deadliest airship called AC-130USpectre is equipped with sensor technology and calibrated fire control systems improving accuracy and range. This project is a part of Boeing’s $11.4 million contract with the U.S. Air Force.