The Marines Want AC-130s (from Strategy Page)
The USMC is looking into getting a couple of AC-130 gunships.
Noting that the AC-130s could circle the battlefield for up to six hours, had excellent night vision devices and a wide array of pinpoint accurate firepower, the marines see the AC-130 as the perfect close air support aircraft in situations where there are no enemy warplanes operating. The marines see themselves getting into urban battles in unruly parts of the world in the future. There will be a need for pinpoint firepower from above, to avoid civilian casualties, and the AC-130 fits the bill.
Most of the enemies we are going to be fighting in the coming decades don’t have air forces. The AC-130 is a superb weapons platform that can loiter for hours and deliver immediate, exact fire support for grunts on the ground.
The F-22 superfighter is a weapon to fight the Third World War. The AC-130 is a weapon to fight the third world. It appears that, for every F-22 we don’t build, we can build three AC-130s. But I guess it depends on who’s congressional districts the AC-130s are built in.