Q-39 (AN/AAQ-39)

The AN/AAQ-39 is the electro-optical/infrared fire control system in production for the Air Force Special Operations Command AC-130U Gunship.

The Q-39 targeting system consists of a large-aperture, midwave infrared (MWIR) sensor, two image-intensified television (I2TV) cameras, a near-infrared (NIR) laser pointer and a laser designator/rangefinder (with eyesafe mode). These components are integrated into a highly stabilized turret to ensure outstanding image quality and highly accurate line-of-sight pointing for gunfire control.


  • Third-generation, large-aperture MWIR sensor with four fields of view for long-range target detection, recognition and identification
  • I2TV sensors for situational awareness and the ability to detect light sources, personnel locators, markers, beacons, etc.
  • Laser rangefinding and designation for targeting and delivery of laser-guided munitions
  • NIR laser pointer (visible in I2TV) for identifying and handing off targets
  • Advanced image processing for optimum image quality and algorithms for enhanced recognition and identification range performance
  • Image blending for improved passive situational awareness during night operations
  • Highly accurate line-of-sight pointing capability for weapons delivery
  • Contractor logistics support for guaranteed system availability and reduced life-cycle costs
Q-39 supports weapon delivery at maximum engagement ranges, significantly enhancing platform lethality and survivability. (Photo by Lockheed Martin)
MWIR images of a tank showing increasing levels of magnification from wide to narrow field of view with enhanced image processing applied. (Photo by Lockheed Martin)
The near-infrared laser pointer is clearly visible in blended midwave infrared and I²TV video. (Photo by Lockheed Martin)
Image stabilization and advanced image processing produce outstanding forward-looking infrared imagery during gunfire. (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

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