By Bad Seed
The Lockheed AC-130 gunship is a heavily armed ground attack aircraft. The basic airframe is manufactured by Lockheed. Boeing is responsible for the conversion into a gunship and for aircraft support. The AC-130A Gunship II superseded the AC-47 Gunship I in Vietnam.
The gunship's sole user is the United States Air Force, which uses AC-130H Spectre and AC-130U Spooky variants. The AC-130 is powered by four turboprops and has an armament ranging from 20 mm Gatling guns to 105 mm howitzers. It has a standard crew of twelve or thirteen airmen.
The US Air Force uses the AC-130 gunships for close air support, air interdiction, and force protection. Close air support roles include supporting ground troops and escorting convoys. Air interdiction missions are conducted against planned targets and targets of opportunity.