This heavily armed aircraft incorporates side-firing weapons with sophisticated sensors, 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 multi-spectral television sensors, high-definition infrared sensors, and radar. These sensors allow the gunship to visually or electronically identify friendly ground forces and targets anytime, anywhere.
The AC-130U employs synthetic aperture strike radar for long-range and adverse weather target detection and identification. The AC-130’s navigational devices include inertial navigation systems and global positioning systems. The AC-130U’s capability to track and engage two targets simultaneously, with different levels of ordnance, is an invaluable asset to special operations forces on the ground.