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Precision Strike Package (PSP)
Project Dragon Spear
Project Dragon Fire

The Precision Strike Package (PSP) is a modular and scalable kit developed for special operations forces C-130s in order to provide close air support, armed reconnaissance, and armed over-watch capability. The system includes precision guided munitions, medium-caliber gun, electro-optical/infrared sensors, special operations forces-specific communications equipment, and an integrated fire control and mission management system. The medium caliber gun used for the system was the GAU-23/A 30mm cannon (a subvariant of the Mk 44 Mod 0, the initial US military designation for ATK's Bushmaster II) and the precision guided munitions capability was initially provided the GBU-44/B Viper Strike. Other members of the Stand-Off Precision Guided Munitions (SOPGM) family were expected to be integrated into the system.

In February 2010, as part of the FY11 defense budget request, funding was requested for a program to fulfill an urgent combat requirement to rapidly arm and field multi-mission precision strike platforms. This Precision Strike Package would provide an armed over-watch capability including sensors, communication systems, precision guided munitions, and a single medium caliber gun. An interim kit had already been fielded and funded under a Combat Mission Needs Statement in FY09. The MC-130W would return to its primary mobility role once the Precision Strike Package was fielded on recapitalized AC-130H aircraft. Funding was also requested to support systems engineering, analysis, and integration of the baseline Precision Strike Package onto a host MC-130W aircraft provided by the US Air Force in support of plans to recapitalize AC-130H aircraft, as well as other special operations forces airborne platforms.

On 2 June 2010, the Department of Defense announced that Sierra Nevada Corporation of Sparks, Nevada had been awarded a $20,863,757 contract that would provide for interim contractor support for the modification to MC-130W aircraft to install a precision strike package in support of Project Dragon Spear, an urgent deployment acquisition to support US Special Operations Command combat mission needs. At that time, $10,014,602 had been obligated. 580 ACSG/GFKAA, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, was the contracting activity.

The Precision Strike Package for the MC-130W fulfilled an urgent combat requirement to rapidly arm and field multi-mission precision strike platforms. The MC-130W Dragon Spear aircraft, subsequently designated as the AC-130W Stinger II, would provide an armed over-watch capability including sensors, communication systems, precision guided munitions, and a single medium caliber gun. An interim kit had been fielded and funded as February 2010 under a Combat Mission Needs Statement in FY09. It was expected that the MC-130W aircraft would return to their primary mobility role once Precision Strike Package was fielded on recapitalized AC-130H aircraft.

On 21 September 2010, the Department of Defense announced that L-3 Communications TCS, Inc. of Warner Robins, Georgia had been awarded a $61,018,760 immediate award contract to provide modifications to MC-130W aircraft to install a Precision Strike Package. Eight kits and 8 installations were being procured under the acquisition. At that time, $15,837,316 had been obligated for a total of $61,018,760 because $45,181,444 was previously obligated. WR-ALC/GRUKA, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia was the contracting activity.

On 23 September 2010, the Department of Defense announced that L-3 Communications TCS, Inc. of Warner Robins, Georgia had been awarded a $29,384,156 contract that would provide modification to 4 MC-130W aircraft to install a precision strike package. At that time, no funds had been obligated. WR-ALC/GRUKA, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia was the contracting activity.

On 25 February 2011, the Department of Defense announced that Sierra Nevada Corporation of Sparks, Nevada had been awarded a $22,320,932 contract modification that would provide interim contract support under the Dragon Spear program for 12 MC-130Ws modified to include a precision strike package. At that time, $10,400,000 had been obligated. WRALC/GRUKA at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia was the contracting activity.

By 2011, plans to recapitalize AC-130H aircraft using the Precision Strike Package had been supplanted by plans to instead use the modular kit to provide an optional capability for the MC-130J aircraft. AC-130H aircraft to be recapitalized would be instead be converted to an MC-130J configuration. When the Precision Strike Package was fitted the aircraft would then become AC-130J.

In February 2012, a follow-on to Project Dragon Spear was initiated called Dragon Fire. Project Dragon Fire would involve a demonstration of an integrated lightweight gun design for the AC-130W and AC-130J aircraft. The basic system would consist of an 105mm gun on a Mission Operator Pallet that could be rapidly mounted or demounted. The PSP did not incorporate a direct replacement for the 105mm gun found on previous AC-130s. This weapon provided an important capability for AC-130s and it was hoped that Dragon Fire would produce a PSP with the heavy weapon. In addition, Dragon Fire would look to provide additional PSP updates, such as the ability to fire any of the systems weapons from any mission console seat. As of May 2013, Dragon Fire was looking to reduce the weight of the Trainable Gun Mount and begin flight testing of the prototype system in November 2013.




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