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    JTF-Quartz Weapon System – AC-130W Stinger II

    AC-130W Stinger II live fire at Melrose Air Force Range

    Photo By Tech. Sgt. Manuel Martinez | An AC-130W Stinger II assigned to the 73rd Special Operations Squadron fires a burst...... read more read more



    Story by Bryan Franks 

    Joint Task Force-Quartz

    The AC-130W Stinger II is conducting air operations over Somalia under Joint Task Force – Quartz in support of Operation Octave Quartz. The mission of OOQ is to reposition U.S. Department of Defense personnel from Somalia to other locations in East Africa.
    The AC-130W Stinger II primary missions are close air support and air interdiction. Close air support missions include troops in contact, convoy escort and point air defense. Air interdiction missions are conducted against preplanned targets or targets of opportunity and include strike coordination and reconnaissance.
    The aircraft is a highly modified C-130H featuring improved navigation, threat detection, countermeasures, and communication suites. All AC-130W aircraft are modified with a precision strike package to perform the gunship mission.
    Modifications to the AC-130W include a mission management console, communications suite, two electro-optical/infrared sensors, fire control equipment, stand-off precision guided munitions, one side-firing, trainable 30mm gun capable of firing 200 rounds per minute, and one side-firing, trainable 105mm cannon. The mission management system will fuse sensor, communication, environment, order of battle and threat information into a common operating picture. The AC-130W Stinger II Precision Strike Package modification provides ground forces an expeditionary, persistent direct fires platform that delivers precision low-yield munitions, ideally suited for close air support and urban operations.
    Lessons learned from overseas contingency operations have modified the near-term needs of U.S. Special Operations Command and Special Operations Forces fire support requirements. In July 2007, the USSOCOM Commander declared the need to grow the gunship fleet. The commander's intent was not to replace current AC-130s, but rather to augment existing combat capability.
    In May 2012, the MC-130W Dragon Spear was renamed the AC-130W Stinger II. The AC-130W Stinger II Project was developed to increase the precision fires capacity available for Overseas Contingency Operations. USSOCOM used proven rapid acquisition principles and combat proven technology to field the Precision Strike Package on the AC-130W Stinger II. It took less than 18 months from the first flight of a prototype modified aircraft to deployment to Operation New Dawn. AC-130W gunships have since been employed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Inherent Resolve.
    General characteristics
    Contractor: Lockheed
    Power plant: four Allison T56-A-15 turboprops
    Thrust: Thrust 4,300 shaft horsepower each engine
    Speed: 300 mph
    Ceiling: 28,000 feet
    Maximum takeoff weight: 155,000 pounds
    Range: 2,500 nautical miles; limited by crew duty day with air refueling
    Crew: Two pilots, one Combat System Officer, one Navigator, one Flight Engineer, three Special Missions Aviators
    Armament: GAU-23A/A 30mm Automatic Chain Gun, M137A1 105mm Cannon, AGM-176 Griffin Missiles, GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs
    Date deployed: MC-130W with PSP November 2010
    Unit cost: AC-130W, million
    Inventory: 7 Active Duty Current plans to retire remaining fleet by 2023



    Date Taken: 12.17.2020
    Date Posted: 12.17.2020 10:30
    Story ID: 385195
    Location: SO

    Web Views: 672
    Downloads: 3