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U.S.A.F AC-130  
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12179 posts, RR: 51
Posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 10811 times:

The USAF AC-130 is a flying Battleship. There is nothing in the sky that packs the gun fire power of the different version AC-130s. They carry different combinations of guns from the 25mm mini gun, to the 40mm Bofors, to the 105mm cannon. The USAF AC-130 Gun Ships have been very successful in the interdiction role, as well as CAS.

So, should the USMC consider buying a version of the AC-130? They are already buying new KC-130Js to replace their KC-130Fs.

35 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3588 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 10797 times:
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A low, slow, circling AC-130 needs a low threat, nighttime environment to survive. As a result I don't think the present AC-130 offers much of value to the USMC. It works well to support special ops & rescue forces but that's about it.

The directed energy version on the table now may be a game changer. Might be able to protect itself better and do away with the need to circle.



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User currently offlineFlyUSCG From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 656 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 10762 times:

It would seem logical seeing as the whole reason Marine Air exists is for close air support and protection of the Marines on the ground. Maybe a new AC-130J could be developed? Otherwise the Marines would be getting second-hand ones from the Air Force if they ever got any.


Go Trojans! Fight On!
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12179 posts, RR: 51
Reply 3, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 10752 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 1):
A low, slow, circling AC-130 needs a low threat, nighttime environment to survive. As a result I don't think the present AC-130 offers much of value to the USMC. It works well to support special ops & rescue forces but that's about it.

The USAF uses theirs for interdiction, CAS and rescue. The rescue missions are often in high threat areas, as well as interdiction missions. The USAF AC-130s are equipped with flares, and RAWS, they do have some self protection capability. Higher threats they often work with USN, USMC, or USAF Crewed EA-6Bs.


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3588 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 10746 times:
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Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 3):
The USAF uses theirs for interdiction, CAS

Interdiction and CAS? Please... Somebody just has to get lucky with a ZSU-23 or a manpad and the gunship community has a bad day... it's already happened.... and you won't find an AC-130 in a high threat area as a result.

Marines need everything to come off a ship, how's the AC-130 going to support a Expeditionary Group of Marines deploying from an assault ship? It can't...

My bet -- USMC will put guns on an Osprey before they acquire an AC-130.



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User currently offlineDEVILFISH From Philippines, joined Jan 2006, 4952 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 10656 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Thread starter):

So, should the USMC consider buying a version of the AC-130?



Quoting FlyUSCG (Reply 2):
Maybe a new AC-130J could be developed?



Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 4):
My bet -- USMC will put guns on an Osprey before they acquire an AC-130.

Or they could opt for a special ops C27J Spartan.....

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User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3588 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10647 times:
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Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 5):
Or they could opt for a special ops C27J Spartan.....

... not a boat capable option....



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User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12179 posts, RR: 51
Reply 7, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 10631 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 4):
Marines need everything to come off a ship, how's the AC-130 going to support a Expeditionary Group of Marines deploying from an assault ship? It can't...

I don't ever recall seeing the USMC KC-130Fs ever on a ship.....

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 4):
Somebody just has to get lucky with a ZSU-23 or a manpad and the gunship community has a bad day... it's already happened.... and you won't find an AC-130 in a high threat area as a result.

Manpads and ZSU-23-4s are also a threat to AV-8Bs, A-10As, AH-1Ws, AH-64A/Ds, F-15Es, F/A-18A/Cs, MC-130Hs, UH/HH-60s. CH-46s, CH-47s, MH/HH-53s, etc. Yet, all of these aircraft also operate in high threat areas. The AC-130s is no exception to that policy. It is still an airborne combat asset. Simply because there is a high threat to aircraft operating deep behind the FEBA, or covering the ground pounders does not mean the USAF or USMC will not risk aircraft assets. Yes, the gunship community has lost gunships and crews in high threat areas, They lost an AC-130E off the coast of Kuwait during ODS to a manpad.

BTW, if you loose an AC-130 in a low threat area, does it not count as much as it would in a high threat area? The mission is to still bring the fight to the enemy, threat or no threat.


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3588 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 10611 times:
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Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
I don't ever recall seeing the USMC KC-130Fs ever on a ship.....

Because their KC-130Fs aren't trying to provide CAS or Interdiction to troops engaged on the beach or supporting other aircraft who do. Since they are supported by the Navy if there's a need for airborne gas over a contested beach then the Navy trots out a buddy tanker.

The Marines "F's" are handy for tanking if there's a convienient airfield nearby but if not they have other uses. Unfortunately USMC can't count on a convienient airfield being nearby....

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
Manpads and ZSU-23-4s are also a threat to AV-8Bs, A-10As, AH-1Ws, AH-64A/Ds, F-15Es, F/A-18A/Cs, MC-130Hs, UH/HH-60s. CH-46s, CH-47s, MH/HH-53s, etc

None of these airframes orbits about a target at eight to ten thousand feet as the AC-130 does. At that altitude, in a predictable orbit, any third world military or half rate insurgency can figure the windage and pull the trigger -- no guidance system required.

Have you not seen the carnage German Flak cannon brought to WWII B-17s and B-24s at even higher altitudes?



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User currently offlineFlyUSCG From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 656 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 10596 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 8):
None of these airframes orbits about a target at eight to ten thousand feet

Your right... everything except the F-15's do it MUCH LOWER, most of the time not going over 1000 feet



Go Trojans! Fight On!
User currently offlineJohnM From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 351 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 10589 times:

What saves the low flying guys is staying low, much lower than 1000 ft. The AC-130 would be of little use below 100 feet, but rotary wing aircraft can operate there quite nicely.

User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12179 posts, RR: 51
Reply 11, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 10587 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 8):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
Manpads and ZSU-23-4s are also a threat to AV-8Bs, A-10As, AH-1Ws, AH-64A/Ds, F-15Es, F/A-18A/Cs, MC-130Hs, UH/HH-60s. SA)">CH-46s, SA)">CH-47s, MH/HH-53s, etc

None of these airframes orbits about a target at eight to ten thousand feet as the AC-130 does. At that altitude, in a predictable orbit, any third world military or half rate insurgency can figure the windage and pull the trigger -- no guidance system required.

Have you not seen the carnage German Flak cannon brought to WWII B-17s and B-24s at even higher altitudes?



Quoting FlyUSCG (Reply 9):
Your right... everything except the F-15's do it MUSA)">CH LOWER, most of the time not going over 1000 feet

The ZSU-23-4, a very capable peice of AAA can easily reach out and touch all of these platforms. The idea being to take it out before he takes you out. An AC-130 operating at 8,000'-10,000' is operating at the extreme outer limit of the manpads capbility (SA-7 or Stinger max altitude approx 8,500', max slant range is 5km, or about 3nm). If the manpad shooter is dumb enough to illuminate his targeted aircraft, especially an AC-130, he is going to get a dose of some 40mm rounds from the Bofors, unless he is within range of the 25mm minis.


User currently offlineUH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 10582 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 4):
Marines need everything to come off a ship



Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 6):
... not a boat capable option....

Then why do they already operate MC-130s? And they just bought a bunch of -J models, surely those aren't being flown off ships. I don't think they need everything to come off ships.

Quoting JohnM (Reply 10):
but rotary wing aircraft can operate there quite nicely.

Hooah.  thumbsup 

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Thread starter):
So, should the USMC consider buying a version of the AC-130?

It's an interesting idea... but I'm not sure it would work. Lets face it, Iraq is a complete divergence from the core mission of the Marines. The entire concept behind the Marines is to assault from the sea, be supported by naval gun artillery, have CAS provided by ship launched aircraft, and to create a spearhead attack from the sea.

It was certainly never expected they would be spending 5+ years operating 300 miles away from the ocean, in a shitty desert town, relying on Army and USAF air support. (such as in Iraq).

So it begs the question - where is the future of the Marine Corps? Will they return to their roots, or are they evolving into deep penetrating, land occupying, nation building fight force? If it's the latter, then yes, perhaps a few AC-130s might be a welcomed addition. However, if they plan on going back to their roots, then I don't see the need for it.

-UH60


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3588 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 10579 times:
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Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 11):
If the manpad shooter is dumb enough to illuminate his targeted aircraft, especially an AC-130, he is going to get a dose of some 40mm rounds from the Bofors, unless he is within range of the 25mm minis.

Illuminate his target? What manpad illuminates it's target? A manpad is going to acquire a target, shoot, and then scoot while the AC-130 is still evading and shitting out flares. Even if the shooter doesn't get a hit he will have disrupted the ACs mission and alerted the ACs target to the ACs presence.

Face it, an AC-130 is not suitable for the mission you suggest at the top of the thread.



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User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3588 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 10576 times:
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Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 12):
Then why do they already operate MC-130s?

They don't. USAF does.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 12):
I don't think they need everything to come off ships.

The Marines think so.... What present Marine airborne shooter is not ship capable? None that I'm aware of....

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 12):
The entire concept behind the Marines is to assault from the sea, be supported by naval gun artillery, have CAS provided by ship launched aircraft, and to create a spearhead attack from the sea.

Check.... An AC-130 does not fit the Marine doctrine at all.....

Thanks for your service...



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User currently offlineUH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 10569 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 14):
They don't. USAF does.

Correction - USMC C-130s. I don't know why I was thinking MC130s.

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 14):
The Marines think so.... What present Marine airborne shooter is not ship capable? None that I'm aware of....

None. But at the same time... they're being supported by USAF birds, and by USArmy OH58s/AH64s. Some in the Marines find that idea almost treasonous!

So I suppose it goes back to the question: what role will the Marines play in future wars? If they're going to abandon their whole "We take the beaches" mentality, and switch to a ground pounding, occupying force (huh, isn't that the ARMY's job?) then maybe a few AC-130s wouldn't hurt.

But I tend to agree with you... the airframe just doesn't suit their core mission. And if they really are considering a complete rethinking of their purpose in life... well whether or not they should be buying AC130s is the LAST of their problems!

-UH60


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3588 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 10566 times:
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Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 15):
Correction - USMC C-130s. I don't know why I was thinking MC130s.

I think you're referring to the KC-130s. As I said earlier the KC-130s are great for tanking when an airfield is available, but airfield availability is not a factor in their core doctrine -- firepower "from the sea" is.

Correct me if I'm wrong but don't the Marines use their KC-130s for dual role? i.e. tank one day, pull the benson tanks (fuselage tank) off that night, and then haul trash the next day....



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User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12179 posts, RR: 51
Reply 17, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 10496 times:

While it is true the primary mission of the USMC is amphibous assualt, they will never do that until the USN and USAF establish air superiority. The support from NGFS (Naval Gun Fire Support) today is nonexsistant. The USN gave away the NGFS requirement when the decommisioned the Iowa class BBs. The USN changed that requirement to NSFS (Naval Surface Fire Support), meaning they switched from gun support to missile support. That is because the USN will not place the DDs, DDGs, CGs, and FFGs closer than 25nm from shore, well outside the range of the USN 76mm, 5"/54s, and 5"/62s in the fleet today. The Navy is suppose to address this short fall with the new DD(X), but do you really think they will put a $2.6B warship in the lattorials? Even though the DD(X) will have 2 155mm AGS, it will not go close to the shore. They plan to address that with the cheaper LCS, but that boat is only armed with the 57mm Bofors and a few missiles.

So, that leaves the Marines only with organic artillery, and then only once they get those batteries ashore and set up.

With dedicated USMC AC-130s, once the USAF and USN establish air superiority, the Marines will once again have medmum and heavy gun fire available to the grunts as they move further away from the beach. Gun fire support from USAF or USMC AC-130s would be a lot cheaper, and quicker than firing TLAMs (cost approximatly ($1.2M each) from the Burke class DDGs VLS 25+ miles off shore. I might add that the USN does not have the capability to UNREP any VLS type ship right now, nor will they be able to do that within the next few decades. So, the number of missiles fired will be limited.


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3588 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 10478 times:
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Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 17):
While it is true the primary mission of the USMC is amphibous assualt, they will never do that until the USN and USAF establish air superiority. The support from NGFS (Naval Gun Fire Support) today is nonexsistant. The USN gave away the NGFS requirement when the decommisioned the Iowa class BBs. The USN changed that requirement to NSFS (Naval Surface Fire Support), meaning they switched from gun support to missile support. That is because the USN will not place the DDs, DDGs, CGs, and FFGs closer than 25nm from shore, well outside the range of the USN 76mm, 5"/54s, and 5"/62s in the fleet today. The Navy is suppose to address this short fall with the new DD(X), but do you really think they will put a $2.6B warship in the lattorials? Even though the DD(X) will have 2 155mm AGS, it will not go close to the shore. They plan to address that with the cheaper LCS, but that boat is only armed with the 57mm Bofors and a few missiles.

So, that leaves the Marines only with organic artillery, and then only once they get those batteries ashore and set up.

With dedicated USMC AC-130s, once the USAF and USN establish air superiority, the Marines will once again have medmum and heavy gun fire available to the grunts as they move further away from the beach. Gun fire support from USAF or USMC AC-130s would be a lot cheaper, and quicker than firing TLAMs (cost approximatly ($1.2M each) from the Burke class DDGs VLS 25+ miles off shore. I might add that the USN does not have the capability to UNREP any VLS type ship right now, nor will they be able to do that within the next few decades. So, the number of missiles fired will be limited.

Great... but that doesn't address where these airfields are to operate these USMC AC-130s from.... I suppose they could employ vertical envelopment and capture an inshore airfield, but they'd still have to establish a beachhead to bring LCACs ashore with the heavy logistics. Not to mention while they're doing this they really need the gunfire support you say only the AC-130s can provide

Also why wait for air superiority to employ the AC-130s? They've got airfields available for USAF to provide top cover right?  Smile

Assuming they could solve all the problems of getting an AC-130 to the fight you're still ignoring the fact that the real threat to the AC-130 is low tech weapons fired from the ground. Joe Insurgent and his brother get PO'd because they are trying to watch American Idol while an AC-130 is raking over a warehouse down the block. They go hop in their converted truck with a half dozen or so homemade rockets in the back. They park in a spot near the gunships orbit, hop in the back, change the elevation to point at a likely spot, let fly -- then run like hell to catch the end of the show. If their aim is any good at all they'll, at a minimum, break up the AC-130s attack and force it to retreat until the threat can be identified and eliminated. Of course the threat by then is just an old abandoned truck which we'll eliminate with a couple of expensive LGBs fired from a FA-18/Harrier/JSF (which should have been doing the job in the first place).



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User currently offlineUH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 10453 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 17):

So do you believe the USMC is making a fundamental shift in their raison d'etre?

Take Iraq, for an example. Look at their LVTP AmTracs... they were terribly vulnerable to IEDs and totally incompatible with urban desert warfare. So, they heavily beefed up the armor... which totally negated their ability to drive off a ship and storm a beach!! They were never intended to do the job they're being asked to do.

During the run up to the invasion, the original plan was for the US 3rd Div, supported by the 101st and 82nd, to push north from Kuwait, while the 4th Div pushed south from Turkey, and the Marine Expeditionary Force assaulted from the sea to eventually control southern Iraq. Of course, that never happened. The Marines ended up pushing north - from Kuwait - all the way north to Baghdad, shadowing the 3rd Div on the other side of the river. At the time - and even to this day - they received support from both USAF and USArmy aviation units, and USArmy indirect fire units.

If that's how the Marines are going to fight wars - then they're going to have to abandon a lot of their equipment. What works on the beaches, does not work well on a lightning ground dash to a major urban center. And I say all of this because how they choose to move forward is what determines whether or not they would need a AC-130 level platform.

Because lets face it, KC, if we ever call on the Marines to storm the beaches again... the AC130 will be useless. The Marines do not have enough air power to provide CAS and air cover for their lumbering -130s. Any assault from the sea cannot follow a long air war that wipes out all the major ground based SAM/AAA.

The Marines would be storming that beach with as little early warning as possible. So all of those dangerous SAMs/AAA will still be there. The threat environment will be very high and the aerial support will be very limited. All of that indicates an environment not suited for the AC130.

-UH60


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3588 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 10441 times:
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Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 19):
So do you believe the USMC is making a fundamental shift in their raison d'etre?


This would make it difficult for a "Marine Corps" to remain relevant. They are a break down the door force, never intended to go far inland or act as a force of occupation.



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User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12179 posts, RR: 51
Reply 21, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 10380 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 20):
This would make it difficult for a "Marine Corps" to remain relevant. They are a break down the door force, never intended to go far inland or act as a force of occupation.

While it is true the USMC is a break down the door force, their WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, and ODS history differs from what you say about being an occupation or inland force.


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3588 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 10359 times:
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Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 21):
While it is true the USMC is a break down the door force, their WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, and ODS history differs from what you say about being an occupation or inland force.

They weren't far from the sea in any of the conflicts you mention, particularly when compared with the Army.



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User currently offlineUH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 10357 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 21):
While it is true the USMC is a break down the door force, their WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, and ODS history differs from what you say about being an occupation or inland force.



Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 22):
They weren't far from the sea in any of the conflicts you mention, particularly when compared with the Army.

What I think is more interesting to look at... is not their past conflicts, but their current equipment inventory and training doctrine.

They've had some tremendous issues with their equipment, and while the Army has had their own problems, it hasn't even approached the level of the USMC. We can try and pretend that the USMC is suited to fight a protracted ground campaign, but we would only be fooling ourselves.

And it all comes down to my original point: The Marines are fighting a war that they weren't equipped for, nor trained for. And it's apparent they need to sort these issues out, long before we start talking about AC-130 purchases.

-UH60

[Edited 2006-11-14 00:30:50]

User currently offlineAvsfan From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 250 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (8 years 1 month 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 10298 times:

I know I did not read the entire thread, but the issue of an AC-130 or any other aircraft getting shot down was brought up. Let me provide my experience into the arena (20 yrs USAF with 10 of that flying as a weapons controller on the E-3).

First of all I have experience in ONW, OSW, OEF and numerous other exercises. During all of these operations to include OIF, the USAF and other governemnt agencies have intelligence on where the bad guys place and use their equipment.

Prior to any aircraft taking off for an operational mission, the pilots and crew will be briefed as to the whereabouts of any enemy activity. While an aircraft is airborne over enemy territory, there will be numerous assets providing real time information on what is going on over and around the battlefield. Most of the time an E-3 AWACS or E-8 Joint Stars will use their specialized radar and sensors to provide updates to the airborne and ground crews, whether it be ground based or airborne threats. A lot of this information can be forwarded via datalinks, however some can be forwarded via secure radio communications. When this is done, the aircrews have precise coordinates and information as to what is going on.

With all of this information and the aircrew & groundcrew training, they will know the parameters for surface to air weaponry. Having said that, they can then avoid the enemy weapons as needed. Along with all of this, the friendly forces will also know where to place their weapons to kill any enemy troops or weapons.

As for an AC-130 getting shot down, the AC-130 only works at night and most of the time it will only operate when moonlight is very low. Dont expect to see an AC-130 flying when the moon is full.

So unless some enemy troop gets a lucky shot, or a pilot screws up by themself, our troops in the air can pretty much ensure that they will be safe. I say that because mistakes do happen during war.

Hey....my job was to destroy the enemy and break their toys. Take a look at my resume, it even says Enemy Inventory Reduction Specialist.

Avsfan



"Oh I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth...Put out my hand and touched the face of God"
25 L-188 : That wasn't the Army that took down that statue of Saddam in the middle of Bagdad on TV either. I don't think that the Marines are looking at the AC,
26 Miamiair : 100% on target. The environment will be risky for even the AV-8s and F/A-18s as well. You can knock back their radar directed weapons some, but Optic
27 Cadet985 : I didn't know the USAF flew the EA-6B... Marc
28 Avsfan : USAF personnel do not fly the EA-6B. There are USAF Officers who do fly on the EA-6B as Electronic Warefare Officers. The word 'crew' in the military
29 Sprout5199 : IIRC an AC130 was shot down in 1991 during the gulf war. The controller told the pilot to leave due to the sun coming up but the pilot replied "no, I
30 Avsfan : Enough said.
31 L-188 : Or to act like Dracula and head home before the sun rises.
32 UH60FtRucker : Like it or not, this seems to be the growing impetus behind a lot of current military strategy. This whole "we own the night" mentality is cool - but
33 DEVILFISH : TV news footage yesterday showed the AC-130 in action in Somalia. Nothing seen of opposing ground forces. Could it be the upgraded AC-130 Spectre vers
34 Covert : The upgraded version of the Spectre is called the Spooky. Either way, the AC-130 is doing great things everyday for the U.S. Army AND (believe it or
35 StealthZ : IIRC, this aircraft was supporting Marine units on the ground. This either makes KC135's point that the USMC need this capability or ZANL188's case t
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