This Painting Was Accomplished After The Artist Viewed The AC-130 Spectre Gunship For The First Time On A Visit To Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The AC-130 gunship's primary missions are close air support, air interdiction, and force protection. Missions in close air support are troops in contact, convoy escort, and urban operations. Air interdiction missions are conducted against preplanned targets or targets of opportunity. Force protection missions include air base defense and facilities defense.
These heavily armed aircraft incorporate side-firing weapons integrated with sophisticated sensor, navigation and fire control systems to provide surgical firepower or area saturation during extended loiter periods, at night and in adverse weather. The sensor suite consists of a television sensor, infrared sensor and radar. These sensors allow the gunship to visually or electronically identify friendly ground forces and targets any place, any time. The AC-130U employs synthetic apertures strike radar for long-range target detection and identification. The gunship's navigational devices include the inertial navigation systems and global positioning system. Both the AC-130s employ the latest technologies and can attack two targets simultaneously.
The AC-130H's call sign is "Spectre." The AC-130U's call sign is "Spooky. " The U-model is the third generation of C-130 gunships. All gunships evolved from the first operational gunship, the AC-47.
The AC-130 gunship has a combat history dating to Vietnam. Gunships destroyed more than 10,000 trucks and were credited with many life-saving close air support missions. During Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada in 1983, AC-130s suppressed enemy air defense systems and attacked ground forces enabling the successful assault of the Point Salines Airfield via airdrop and air land of friendly forces. The AC-130 aircrew earned the Lt. Gen. William H. Tunner Award for the mission.