L3Harris has delivered an imaging system to support the AC-130J Ghostrider modernization program of the US Air Force Special Operations Command.
The company handed over its WESCAM MX-25D to serve as the primary imaging asset for the heavy ground-attack aircraft, marking L3Harris’ 6,000th delivery of the system.
WESCAM MX-25D is an electro-optical/infrared capability for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.
It features HD cameras, advanced image processing, a five-axis gimbal, long-range target illumination, and low-light and wide-angle views. It can support up to six sensors simultaneously.
“The next-generation electro-optics and infrared sensors in the WESCAM MX-25D will provide the special operations forces with world-leading advanced situational awareness and key targeting and laser designation capabilities,” L3Harris Electro Optical President Kristin Houston said.
The company’s WESCAM MX-Series are installed in over 230 different airborne systems, including rotor-wing, fixed-wing, unmanned aerial vehicles, and aerostat platforms.
“L3Harris WESCAM MX-Series products have successfully supported USSOCOM and AFSOC aviation programs for more than 20 years, specifically the AC-130 H, U, W, and J model gunships,” Houston added.
The imaging systems are used by more than 80 countries.
Upgrading USAF’s AC-130J Ghostrider Fleet
The AC-130J Block 30 upgrade program aims to improve the software and avionics technology of the US AC-130J Ghostriders over the previous fleet of Block 20s.
The first modernized AC-130J Ghostrider gunship was delivered to the US Air Force in 2019 at Hurlburt Field, Florida.
“The Block 30 AC-130J is now our most lethal aircraft in AFSOC’s inventory,” AFSOC Requirements Chief Maj. Brandon Hughes said during the arrival.
“The technology in this 5th generation gunship will ensure our combat relevance in the skies above today’s battlefields and the battlefields of the future,” 1st Special Operations Wing Commander Col. Michael Conley added.
In 2021, Lockheed Martin handed over the Airborne High Energy Laser weapon system for mounting on the aircraft.
Earlier this year, Northrop Grumman provided the US Special Operations Command with ALQ-251 radio frequency countermeasure system to enhance the AC-130J’s survivability in “contested and congested electromagnetic spectrum environments.”