It’s considered one of the deadliest conventional weapons in the world and it will be based at Cannon Air Force Base this year.
A spokesman for the 1st Special Operations Wing said the AC-130H gunship, flown by 16th Special Operations Squadron, will begin its move to Cannon in June.
Also known as Spectre, the aircraft is armed with cannons capable of leveling buildings and destroying vehicles, according to an Air Force fact sheet on the aircraft.
In a December Fox News article, the AC-130 gunship was listed among the five deadliest conventional weapons in the world.
“It’s extremely useful in providing close air support for personnel on the ground,” said 2nd Lt. Mark Lazane of the 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs Department.
At present the squadron is serving in missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The 16th Special Operations Squadron will complete its move to Cannon in August from the 1st Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Air Field in Florida, according Lazane.
He said approximately 300 personnel will move to Cannon.
According to a 2007 Air Force Special Operations Command factsheet there are eight active AC-130H aircraft in the Air Force.
The other variation of the gunship, the AC-130U “Spooky”, is flown by the 4th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fla.
AC-130H: 40 mm and 105 mm cannons;
AC-130U: 40 mm and 105 mm cannons and 25 mm gatling gun.
AC-130Us are being retrofitted with 30 mm Mk-44 single barrel cannons in place of the 40 mm cannon and the 25 mm gatling gun.
Crew: AC-130U — pilot, co-pilot, navigator, fire control officer, electronic warfare officer (officers) and flight engineer, TV operator, infrared detection set operator, loadmaster, four aerial gunners (enlisted)
Speed: 300 mph (Mach .4) (at sea level)
Primary Function: Close air support, air interdiction and force protection
Power Plant: Four Allison T56-A-15 turboprop engines
Thrust: 4,910 shaft horsepower each engine
Length: 98 feet, 9 inches (30.09 meters)
Height: 38 feet, 6 inches (11.7 meters)
Wingspan: 132 feet, 7 inches (40.4 meters)
Speed: 300 mph
Ceiling: 33,000 feet (10,000 meters)
Maximum Range with Maximum Normal Payload: 1,208 miles (1,050 NM); In-flight refueling extends this to unlimited range
Unit cost: $132.4 million