Assembly work has begun on Air Force Special Operations Command’s first AC-130J gunship at Lockheed Martin’s plant in Marietta, Ga., announced the company. Lockheed Martin is converting an MC-130J Commando II special-mission airplane currently on Marietta’s production line to the gunship configuration via the addition of the modular Precision Strike Package, states the company’s July 23 release. AFSOC’s MC-130W Dragon Spear special-mission aircraft already carry PSP, a scalable weapons and sensor suite. The Air Force plans to purchase 16 new-build AC-130Js under a $1.6 billion recapitalization effort to replace its legacy AC-130Hs and provide additional capacity. The AC-130J fleet is slated to begin initial operations in 2015. With the addition of the AC-130Js, the Air Force plans to have a combined fleet of 33 gunships, including the 17 AC-130Us currently on strength.
Feb. 26, 2024
Two B-52 Stratofortresses from the 5th Bomb Wing conducted a flyover at Changi Air Base during the Singapore Airshow late last week. The BUFFs, currently deployed to Anderson Air Force Base in Guam, flew to Singapore to be featured at the biennial event, which concluded Feb. 25.