AC-130 To Get Laser Guns & Air-Launched Drones: Heithold

AC-130 To Get Laser Guns & Air-Launched Drones: Heithold image
December 3, 2015 | Source: SYDNEY J. FREEDBERG JR.

WASHINGTON: Lt. Gen. Brad Heithold, the head of Air Force Special Operations Command, wants to make the AC-130 a kind of flying aircraft carrier, launching mini-dronesmid-flight to scope out threats and targets. Oh, and he wants the AC-130 to have a laser cannon as well. Speaking to the Association of Old Crows’ annual conference on electronic warfare, Heithold didn’t spend much time talking about EW. Yes, the AC-130’s current defensive jamming and spoofing suite — comparable to that on the aging B-52 — will be upgraded on the future AC-130J model, but even that won’t be enough to protect the gunship against increasingly sophisticated future threats.