Lockheed AC-130 gunship model. Continuing the distinguished combat history of side-firing AC-130 gunships, the new AC-130U Spectre gunship is being fielded as a replacement for the AC-130A aircraft and to supplement the AC-130H gunship fleet. Its mission is to support conventional and joint special operations forces any time, any place. The AC-130U Gunship program consists of 13 new Lockheed C-130H airframes, modified by Boeing, which assumed responsibility for the AC-130U contract when it merged with the Rockwell Corporation, the original contractor on the program. The modifications allow the aircraft to perform the full range of special operations and conventional gunships missions. It provides surgical firepower, night and adverse weather operations, and extended loiter time on target in Special Operations Forces (SOF) and conventional roles. The AC-130U is named for the AC-47D and has the "Spooky" nickname rather than the "Spectre" nickname used by all other AC-130 gunships.