In addition to two MX-20i turrets and the 30mm cannon, the forward fuselage of the AC-130J features multiple blisters, fairings, and blade antennas.
Air Commandos from the 73rd Aircraft Maintenance Unit perform a post-flight inspection on AC-130J (serial: 13-5783 Aces High) at Hurlburt Field, Florida, in July 2019.
AC-130J 12-5753 undergoing ground-based system testing at Hurlburt Field. The aircraft is fitted with underwing pylons for weapon racks.
AC-130J Ghostrider 16-5837 assigned to the 4th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Florida, on March 13, 2019. Aircraft 5837 is the first Block 30 AC-130J model received by Air Force Special Operations Command.
The forward most externally mounted sensor on the AC-130J is an L-3 Wescam MX-20i turret housing electro-optical and infrared sensors and laser designator.
Lt Col Tracey Iverson is the commander of the 73rd Special Operations Squadron, the first AC-130J Ghostrider gunship squadron at Hurlburt Field, Florida.
A special missions aviator with the 1st SOG Det 2 inspects the wing of an AC-130J Ghostrider during a pre-flight inspection at Hurlburt Field under foggy conditions.
The AC-130J is based on the vanilla MC-130J with the addition of the mission equipment and weaponry.
Lockheed Martin AC-130J Ghostrider 09-5710 about to taxi out for its first flight after being equipped with its mission systems at Eglin AFB, Florida.
The first AC-130J Ghostrider, 09-5710 (c/n 5710), taxies from parking for its first sortie at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida on January 31, 2014. The former MC-130J arrived at Eglin in January 2013 to be modified to AC-130J configuration.
An AC-130J Ghostrider gunship takes off from Hurlburt Field, Florida, home of the 1st Special Operations Wing. According to official US Air Force details, the AC-130J's primary missions are close air support including troops in contact, convoy escort and point air defence, air interdiction against pre-planned targets or targets of opportunity, and armed reconnaissance.
An AC-130J Ghostrider, assigned to the 73rd SOS, takes off into warm evening skies at Hurlburt Field in September 2019.
This shot nicely displays the general configuration of the AC-130J. Note the wing hardpoints for stores and the holes in the rear cargo ramp for the deployment of munitions.
An AC-130J Ghostrider drops wing-mounted GBU-39/B GPS-guided Small Diameter Bombs (SDBs) during testing at the White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), New Mexico, in 2016.
The GAU-23/A 30mm side-firing chain gun has a fire rate of 200 shots per minute.
Aerial gunners MSgt James Knight (left) and SSgt Rob Turner perform a pre-flight inspection of the 30mm ATK GAU-23/A.
Ten gunslinger tubes in the AC-130J’s rear cargo door are used to launch AGM-176A Griffin air-to-ground laser-guided missiles.
Pilots Maj Jason Fox (left) and Maj Brian Pesta from the 1st SOG, at the controls of an AC-130J Ghostrider in July 2015.
A special missions aviator monitors the 30mm cannon aboard AC-130J Angry Annie during a training mission over Eglin Range, Florida, in January 2017. The 30mm ATK GAU-23/A can fire up to 200 rounds per minute.
Loading the 105mm M102 howitzer aboard AC-130J Angry Annie during a training mission over Eglin Range in January 2017. The howitzer fires shells weighing 50lbs, which contain more than 32lbs of explosives.
A rack of 105mm training rounds in storage at Hurlburt Field, Florida, in 2018. Ordinance for the AC-130 is managed by munitions systems technicians with the 1st Special Operations Maintenance Squadron.
A rendering showing the proposed stabilised laser-weapon concept, which is currently being developed for future AC-130J use.