Ghostrider No. 1

Photo by Amn Kai White

The first AC-130J Ghostrider gunship arrived at Hurlburt Field, Florida, on 29 July 2015. The AC-130J (US Air Force serial number 12-5753) will be flown by the 1st Special Operations Group Detachment 2 and maintained by the 1st Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron during Initial Operational Test and Evaluation for the aircraft at Hurlburt. The AC-130J Ghostrider utilizes the precision strike package from the AC-130W Stinger II. The precision strike package, developed to support ground forces in overseas contingency operations, includes dual electro-optical infrared sensors, a 30mm cannon, AGM-176 Griffin missiles, synthetic aperture radar, and the capability to release GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs. The sensors allow the gunship crew to identify targets at any time, including adverse weather. Operational testing is expected to be complete in 2016.

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