Lockheed Martin’s AC-130 gunship is one of the most lethal aircraft ever made, equipped with a wide array of technological innovations such as night vision, sophisticated sensors that can detect enemy formations and vehicles from miles away, and an offensive arsenal that ranges from rapid-firing machine guns to impressive explosive canons.
The revered AC-130 has been around for almost six decades. It was first introduced in the Vietnam War as a replacement for the Spooky AC-47 under the top-secret Project Gunship II, and created havoc in North Vietnam to support American and South Vietnamese ground troops from 1969 to 1975.
The aircraft soon earned its nickname ‘Puff The Magic Dragon’ after its unmistakable roar when firing its weapons and the flares it launched that lit up entire combat zones.
After several upgrades, it also served in the Cold and Gulf wars, and because of its role in the War on Terror, many people still believe it is one of American’s recent innovations. In reality, it is a legendary powerhouse.
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