The AC-130 is one of the most heavily armed planes ever built.
When it comes to air support, the United States has some of the most awesome aircraft ever designed. Most people immediately think of the A-10 Thunderbolt II, aka: "The Warthog" as being a soldier's best friend. While the A-10 is an awesome machine, the Lockheed AC-130 may have it beat in terms of firepower.
This prop plane was first pressed into service during the Vietnam War and has seen action in almost every major conflict since then. It has also been continually updated over the years. The first plane was the AC-130A and the latest model was given the AC-130U designation.
This video showing training exercises shows what it is like inside this war machine for the crew tasked with keeping those impressive guns running as the plane circles its target.
The many different variants of the AC-130 have been armed with different guns over the years. Some of the first models were armed with 40mm cannons and an M102 howitzer. This plane has also been armed with the M61 Vulcan cannon and the GAU-12 Equalizer 25mm rotary cannon. Simply put, you do not want to be on the wrong end of an AC-130, it is not going to end well for you!
As you can see in the video, it takes quite the crew of Air Force personnel in the back to keep everything operating smoothly during operations. The AC-130 was designed for one reason only, to deliver a ton of rounds on target in a hurry. The crew's comfort was not really a concern here at all.
Like the A-10 Warthog, there have been talks in recent years of scrapping the AC-130 completely due to advancements in unmanned drone technology, but for now, this plane is hanging on as one of the most destructive airplanes ever used by the U.S. Air Force.