Maybe Later

Air Force Special Operations Command is not pursuing, for now, a light gunship concept. Acknowledging that the AC-27 concept had little support in Congress, Lt. Gen. Donald Wurster said Tuesday at AFA’s Air & Space Conference that AFSOC would develop 16 AC-130J models, drawing on the modular capability developed for the MC-130W recapitalization program, which included a precision strike package that gave some a “gunship minus” capability. The intent is to take the weapons package from the MC-130W, expand it and make it into an AC-130J. “Whether or not that production would run out and replace the U models which would then be 30 years old, is a decision that is not yet made,” Wurster added. But, a smaller gunship might still replace the last AC-130Us in the inventory at some point in the future. “I would say the door is not closed on that, but right now we’re going in the direction of the AC-130J,” he added.