Ghostrider Testers

Photo by Sara Vidoni

Officials from the US Air Force’s 1st Special Operations Group at Hurlburt Field, Florida, activated a detachment on 9 July 2015 to operationally test the new AC-130J Ghostrider gunship. Designated 1st SOG Detachment 2, the unit will also develop new tactics, techniques and procedures for the AC-130J. The AC-130J is the fourth generation gunship that will replace the fleet of AC-130U/W gunships and the now-retired AC-130Hs that dated back to the Vietnam War. The AC-130J is a highly modified MC-130J now equipped with a Precision Strike Package that includes dual electro-optical infrared sensors, a 30mm cannon, AGM-176A Griffin missiles, all-weather synthetic aperture radar, and the capability to release GBU-39 small diameter bombs.

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