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Old 08-03-2019, 02:21 PM
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Arrow SUN: America's New AC-130J Ghostrider Gunship Is a Beast

SUN: America's New Air Force AC-130J Ghostrider Gunship Is a Beast
By: Task & Purpose - 8-3-19
RE: https://nationalinterest.org/blog/bu...ip-beast-71021

It will wreck your enemies.

Photo link: https://nationalinterest.org/sites/d...?itok=Mon2Epjp

The 30mm cannon in particular "almost like a sniper rifle. ... It's that precise, it can pretty much hit first shot, first kill," then-1st SOW commander Col. Tom Palenske told Millitary.com back in 2017, adding that the Ghostrider is "going to [be] the most lethal, with the most loiter time, probably the most requested weapons system from ground forces in the history of warfare."

Brace yourselves: the Air Force's newest gunship is officially on the prowl downrange.

The AC-130J Ghostrider gunship flew its first combat mission in Afghanistan in late June, deploying to relieve the AC-130U Spooky aircraft following the latter's final combat sorties, an Air Force Special Operations Command spokesman confirmed to The War Zone on Wednesday.

According to The War Zone, the 73rd Special Operation Squadron at Hurburt is currently flying the Ghostrider in Afghanistan, likely in a close air support or armed overwatch capacity.

Described by AFSOC officials as "the ultimate battle plane" and "a bomb truck with guns on it," the Ghostrider comes with the standard 105mm cannon and an additional 30mm GAU-23/A cannon, along with wing pylons designed for both GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bombs and AGM-114 Hellfire missiles.

The 30mm cannon in particular "almost like a sniper rifle. ... It's that precise, it can pretty much hit first shot, first kill," then-1st SOW commander Col. Tom Palenske told Millitary.com back in 2017, adding that the Ghostrider is "going to [be] the most lethal, with the most loiter time, probably the most requested weapons system from ground forces in the history of warfare."

But while the Ghostrider first hit initial operational capacity back in September 2017, a January 2018 assessment from the Pentagon's Office of the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation found that the Ghostrider's fire control systems "performed inconsistently when accounting for changing ballistic conditions" like shifts in altitude and ambient wind, requiring frequent in-flight adjustments to ensure the weapons' accuracy.

Beyond that, the 30mm cannon's full rate of fire of 200 rounds a minute caused the cannon to shake so violently that the fire control system's automatic safeguards kicked in, forcing the operator to again recalibrate the gun and mount to get the system moving again, according to the Pentagon OT&E assessment.

Those problems have since been addressed: According to the Pentagon's 2019 assessment, the Ghostrider systems were officially "effective and suitable" for CAS and air interdiction missions. The following the March, the 4th Special Operations Squadron,1st Special Operations Wing received an upgraded version of the new gunship with "major improvement[s] in software and avionics technology."

While details are scant on the nature of the Ghostrider's first combat mission, U.S. special operations forces have remained heavily in the fight in Afghanistan in recent years. Unfortunately, there's word yet on whether they can expect future Ghostrider support to include frickin' laser beams.

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Personal note: Let's hope there are no mechanical or electronic issues. These aircraft are so sophisticated of late that things don't always go was well as expected. I'm not a doom say're but the more sophistication the more issues that seem to pop up and more frequently than expected. Only time will tell how well they do. The more gadgetry the more possibilities of an unknown hick up. C-130's were good workhorses let's hope the new upgrades remain positive.

Boats

By the was I also posted this on RE: https://taskandpurpose.com/air-force...on-afghanistan
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Boats

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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