Software engineers with the 402nd Software Maintenance Group at Robins AFB, Ga., have devised the means for AC-130 gunships to fire more than one of their cannons simultaneously at the same target. They developed this “dual-targeting” capability in Robins’ gunship lab based on feedback from gunships aircrews who believed this feature would improve combat lethality. “The way they described it is: ‘We want to be able to shoot the ant hill, and then kill all the ants as they leave the ant hill,'” said Steve Pollard, lead AC-130 test engineer. After successfully testing it in the lab, the new capability in now in use. Pollard said lab engineers consider this achievement their “pride and joy,” since it will likely save the lives of US ground troops. But it is only one of many gunship improvement efforts. (Robins report by Wayne Crenshaw)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.