Military & Defense / US Air Force / Air Force Special Operations Command / US Special Operations Command / ac-130 / AC-130J / MC-130 / gunship / airlift / close air support / Seaplane / floatplane / amphibious aircraft / News Contributor / Mildef freelance

US Special Operations Command wants to transform its biggest planes to gain an advantage against China

Posted On: Dec 2, 2021   |   Posted By: Business Insider

An AC-130J Ghostrider gunship.
Air Force/Courtesy photo
US Special Operations Command is shifting its focus toward competition with a near-peer power.
To do that, it wants to ensure it can still use its all its platforms against a sophisticated enemy.
So SOCOM is upgrading its biggest planes, which are needed to support operators in the field.
During the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, US forces had the decisive advantage of air superiority. Conventional troops and special operators knew that they could almost always call in airstrikes or close air support against an enemy force. But that capability might not be available if a conflict with China and Russia breaks out. In contested airspace, the AC-130 gunship and MC-130 transport aircraft - some of the most capable and loved aircraft in the US Special Operations Command arsenal - will be in danger of becoming irrelevant, unable to do their missions amid the thicket of Chinese and Russian air defenses. So SOCOM is looking for new ways to use...

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