The Pentagon has quietly cut procurement of its new AC-130J Ghostrider special operations gunships, downsizing the fleet from 37 to 30.

U.S. Special Operations Command originally planned to buy nearly 40 Ghostriders to replace three older gunships: the AC-130H Spectre, AC-130W Stinger II and AC-130U Spooky. Each of those 37 aircraft are now retired.

Rather than swap out the airframes one-for-one as expected, SCOM wants to end the decade-long AC-130J acquisition seven short of the full program.

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