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The Lockheed AC-130 gunship is a heavily armed, long-endurance ground-attack variant of the C-130 Hercules transport fixed-wing aircraft.
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It carries a wide array of anti-ground oriented weapons that are integrated with sophisticated sensorsnavigation, and fire-control systems.
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It is capable of delivering precision firepower or area-saturation fire over a target area over a long period of time, at night or in adverse weather
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The AC-130U is equipped with the AN/APQ-180, a synthetic aperture radar for long-range target detection and identification
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During the Vietnam era, the various AC-130 versions following the Pave Pronto modifications were equipped with a magnetic anomaly detector system called Black Crow (designated AN/ASD-5), a highly sensitive passive device with a phased-array antenna located in the left-front nose radome that could pick up localized deviations in the Earth’s magnetic field normally used to detect submerged submarines
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Close air support was the main mission of the AC-130 in Iraq. Night after night, at least one AC-130 was in the air to fulfill one or more air support requests
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The day after arriving in Afghanistan, the AC-130s attacked Taliban and Al-Qaeda forces near the city of Konduz and were directly responsible for the city’s surrender the next day. On 26 November 2001
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On 15 November 2015, two days after the attacks in Paris by ISIL, AC-130s and A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft destroyed a convoy of over 100 ISIL-operated oil tanker trucks in Syria
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Crew: 13Officers: 5 (pilot, copilot, navigator, fire control officer, electronic warfare officer)
Enlisted: 8 (flight engineer, TV operator, infrared detection set operator, loadmaster, four aerial gunners)
Length: 97 ft 9 in (29.8 m)
Wingspan: 132 ft 7 in (40.4 m)
Height: 38 ft 6 in (11.7 m)
Wing area: 1745.5 ft² (162.2 m²)
Loaded weight: 122,400 lb (55,520 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 155,000 lb (69,750 kg)
Powerplant: 4 × Allison T56-A-15 turboprops, 4,910 shp (3,700 kW) each
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They also have cool names