“Death Angel” is a USAF Lockheed AC-130H “Spectre” gunship (a modified Lockheed C-130 Hercules) used for close air support, interdiction, recon and base protection duties. The original AC-130A model was introduced in 1968 and developed to take over from its Vietnam era predecessor the Douglas AC-47 “Spooky” gunship. The various models of the “Spectre” have been used in missions over Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Liberia and Afghanistan. There are currently 8 AC-130H aircraft in service with the USAF today.
Equipped with a side firing 40mm Bofors gun (yes basically the same anti-aircraft gun that dates back to World War Two!) and a 105mm cannon the “Spectre” gunship can lay down heavy fire upon enemy targets (the AC-130U “Spooky” variant also has a 25mm Gatling gun). I would not want to be on the receiving end of this firepower!
The “Spectre” also includes extensive electronics and avionics from sensors and fire control radar to receivers and counter measures for offensive and defensive purposes. Such technology enables the aircraft to attack two targets at the same time. This particular example was on display and open for inspection while I was at the Joint Base Lewis McChord Air Expo 2012.