WASHINGTON (Agencies): The U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command is reportedly considering the removal of the 105mm cannon from the AC-130J Ghostrider gunship, marking a potential shift in its mission focus.
The move is part of a broader reassessment of the gunship’s capabilities following the end of the Afghanistan War and an increased emphasis on addressing challenges posed by major adversaries like China. The Air Force is exploring alternatives, including adding small cruise missiles, incorporating advanced radar systems, and implementing communication and networking upgrades. The potential removal of the cannon is not finalized, and the decision may be influenced by ongoing research and development analysis until 2025.
The changes, if implemented, could significantly impact the AC-130J Ghostrider’s role in supporting special operations forces and responding to evolving security threats. The command aims to enhance the aircraft’s lethality, versatility, and adaptability to ensure its effectiveness in various operational scenarios. The broader modernization efforts also align with NATO’s commitment to collective defense, as demonstrated by the ongoing Neptune Strike exercise involving warships from 21 nations.
While the potential removal of the 105mm cannon has not been confirmed, it has generated discussions within the defense community. Some argue that such changes are necessary to align with the evolving threat landscape, while others express concerns about the potential impact on the gunship’s traditional roles. The Air Force is expected to carefully assess the strategic implications and balance the need for modernization with maintaining effective capabilities for specific mission requirements.