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Lockheed AC-130W Stinger II (MC-130W Dragon Spear)

Special Operations Fixed-Wing Gunship Aircraft

United States | 2010

"The Lockheed AC-130W Stinger II - formerly known as the MC-130W Dragon Spear - serves U.S. special operations forces with a lethal payload."

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Lockheed AC-130W Stinger II Special Operations Fixed-Wing Gunship Aircraft.
4 x Allison T56-A-15 turboprop engines delivering 4,300 shaft horsepower each driving four-bladed propeller units.
300 mph
482 kph | 260 kts
Max Speed
32,808 ft
10,000 m | 6 miles
Service Ceiling
2,877 miles
4,630 km | 2,500 nm
Operational Range
1,850 ft/min
564 m/min
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Lockheed AC-130W Stinger II Special Operations Fixed-Wing Gunship Aircraft.
98.4 ft
30.00 m
O/A Length
131.2 ft
(40.00 m)
O/A Width
38.4 ft
(11.70 m)
O/A Height
77,162 lb
(35,000 kg)
Empty Weight
154,996 lb
(70,305 kg)
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Lockheed AC-130W Stinger II (MC-130W Dragon Spear) Special Operations Fixed-Wing Gunship Aircraft .
1 x 30mm Bushmaster II GAU-23/A Gatling gun.

"Gunslinger" precision-guided munitions kit: Rapid-fire launch tube for 10 x GBU-44/B "Viper Strike", AGM-176 "Griffin" or AGM-114 "Hellfire" missile.
Notable series variants as part of the Lockheed AC-130W Stinger II (MC-130W Dragon Spear) family line.
AC-130W "Stinger II" - Base Series Name
MC-130W "Dragon Spear" - Original designation; MC-130W Combat Spear aircraft modified for the fixed-wing gunship role as interim measure pending delivery og AC-130J models.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 03/18/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

The on-going American commitment to the war's in Afghanistan and Iraq forced renewed interest during 2007 in supplying effective close-support firepower for special forces elements. By 2009 the United States Air Force (USAF) had already committed to the procurement of the AC-130J gunship but their arrival was still very much in the future. Therefore, as an interim measure, it was decided to convert a existing MC-130W "Combat Spear" aerial tankers and transports (C-130H) to fixed-wing gunships. L-3 Communications was contracted for the work in September of 2010 and this has since resulted in yet-another in the long line of Lockheed C-130 "Hercules" related transport offshoots - the MC-130W "Dragon Spear" (to be later redesignated as AC-130W "Stinger II").

Most of the modification lay in implementation of the "Precision Strike Package". This also included installation of a 30mm "Bushmaster II" series GAU-23A Gatling-style cannon off to portside of the airframe. A precision-guided munitions system - the "Gunslinger" - was also one of the key qualities of the design and added a "smart" munitions capability to the attack platform. This system, by way of rapid-fire launch tube, allowed the crew to fire off successive shots of guided missiles at targets while on the move. Supported ordnance includes the Hellfire Anti-Tank (AT) missile, Viper Strike glide bomb and Griffin lightweight missile series. Additional work added updated communications and sensor fits to complete the new aircraft.

The standard operating crew would encompass two pilots, two Combat Systems Officers (CSMs), a flight engineer and a pair of Special Mission Aviators (SMAs).

Power is from 4 x Allison T56-A-15 turboprop engines of 4,300 horsepower each and fitted to a shoulder-mounted monoplane wing for excellent Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) capabilities. Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) is 155,000 lb. Range is out to 2,500 nautical miles with a maximum speed of 300 miles per hour reported.

In this guise the MC-130W became the "Dragon Spear" - the concept-to-flight time lasting just 90 days (prototype-to-deployment was 18 months). Eight conversions were originally received and the stock for Special Operations COMmand eventually grew to twelve by September 2013. Initial deliveries to the Afghanistan Theater were in late-2010 and the aircraft saw combat action soon after against Taliban forces. The series has also been deployed over Iraq and in Operation "Inherent Resolve" - the ongoing fight against I.S.I.S. in both Syria and Iraq.

The redesignation of MC-130W Dragon Spear units to AC-130W Stinger II occurred during May of 2012. The Fairchild AC-119 gunship platform of the Vietnam War years (1955-1975) carried the original "Stinger" name.

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March 2020 - An AC-130W ("Stinger II") has successfully targeted and destroyed simulated naval assets with help from a loitering Boeing P-8A in testing - the U.S. military studying whether the Stinger II series could be an effective naval support platform.

Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Lockheed AC-130W Stinger II (MC-130W Dragon Spear). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 12 Units

Contractor(s): Lockheed Martin - USA
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Image of the Lockheed AC-130W Stinger II (MC-130W Dragon Spear)
Official image from the website of the United States Air Force.

Going Further...
The Lockheed AC-130W Stinger II (MC-130W Dragon Spear) Special Operations Fixed-Wing Gunship Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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