Pending Gunship

Photo by Todd R. McQueen

The first MC-130J Commando II Special Operations tanker that will be converted to a new AC-130J gunship was flown for the first time at the Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta, Georgia, on 29 November 2012. After delivery, this aircraft (Air Force serial number 09-5710) will have the modular Precision Strike Package, a scalable weapons and sensor suite currently carried on Air Force Special Operations Command's MC-130Ws, installed. The aircraft will be flown as a gunship in early 2014. The Air Force initially plans to acquire sixteen new-build AC-130Js to replace its legacy AC-130Hs and provide additional gunship capacity.