The Lockheed Martin manufactured, and Boeing modified, AC-130 gunship has been dubbed the one plane that the Taliban fears the most from the U.S. Air Force. A heavily armed, long-endurance ground-attack variant of the C-130 Hercules transport fixed-wing aircraft, the AC-130 gunship aircraft is powered by four turboprops, fitted with armaments that go from M61 Vulcan 20mm, M102 howitzer 105mm, Bofors 40mm, GAU-12 Equalizer 25mm, and Bushmaster 30mm cannons, to AGM-176 Griffin missiles and GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs (SDBs).
Because its large profile and low operating altitudes would make it an easy target, the AC-130 gunship usually flies night missions or in areas where anti-aircraft defenses are uncommon. With Afghanistan being one of those areas, the heavily armed AC-130 has been used heavily against Taliban insurgents with a terrorizing rate of success. High res images of hits on the Taliban like these show us why.
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