The Angel Of Death Plane In Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant Explained


  • The AC-130 gunship, known as the “Angel of Death,” has played a significant role in aiding the US Military in various conflicts, including Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm.
  • The AC-130 is heavily armed with a 30 mm cannon, 105 mm cannon, and smart bombs, making it an airborne tank capable of delivering devastating firepower to enemies.
  • While there is no evidence of the specific event portrayed in the movie, a similar gunship to the one featured in The Covenant has aided troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Middle East, showcasing the AC-130’s importance in real-life military operations.



A notorious gunship known as the “Angel of Death” features prominently in Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant, which has been aiding the US Military for decades. At the ending of The Covenant, when all hope seems lost for Master Sergeant John Kinley (Jake Gyllenhaal) and the interpreter he’s risked his life to bring back to the United States, the gunship ends up being the deus ex machina that saves the day. After navigating the inhospitable terrain of Afghanistan and other central locations in The Covenant, the pair wind up at the Darunta Dam waiting for backup which nearly doesn’t arrive.

Pinned down and outgunned by the Taliban who vowed to kill Ahmed (Dar Salim) for his help aiding the allied troops in Afghanistan, Kinley and his comrade nearly disappear in a barrage of gunfire until the AC-130 swoops in. Piloted by private contractor Eddie Parker (Antony Starr), the Angel of Death earns its moniker as it completely annihilates the Taliban’s military vehicles, .50 Cal guns, and personnel. As the world’s largest flying artillery gun, its history and weaponry detail makes it a welcome sight for allies and a nightmare for enemies.

Why The AC-130 Plane Is Called The “Angel Of Death”


The AC-130 is one of the most heavily armed aircraft in the US military, designed for close air support and a full arsenal of weapons that when deployed create a distinct winged shape, something which has earned it the nickname the “Angel of Death.” These gunships provide excellent cover for allies and rain down nightmarish levels of gunfire and explosives to adversaries. First used in the Vietnam War when it replaced the Douglas AC-47 Spooky gunship, it has dominated various battlefields around the world and provided backup for ground forces in countless countries, becoming known as workhorses at 7,000 feet.

With its 30 mm cannon, 105 mm cannon, as well as smart bombs, it’s an airborne tank. The AC-130 receives constant upgrades to sensor packages and weaponry, but due to their low airspeeds and high signatures, they may not be around forever as the US military pursues more advanced technologies. Budgetary constraints, combined with the efficacy of disposable unmanned craft for strike missions make the AC-130 seem cumbersome by comparison, but there’s no doubting the damage it can do.

Did The US Military Really Order An Angel Of Death To Attack The Darunta Dam In 2018?

Jake Gyllenhaal and Dar Salim in The Covenant in military uniforms riding on a jeep

While the scene in The Covenant is certainly exciting, there’s no evidence that the US Military ordered an Angel of Death to attack the Darunta Dam in 2018. However, a similar gunship to the one featured in the movie did aid troops during deployments in Afghanistan, Iraq, and throughout the Middle East. The AC-130U returned from deployment overseas in 2019 to make way for the AC-130J Ghostrider, which began deploying in Afghanistan in the summer of 2019, so the plane was helping with missions in one capacity or another.

The Angel of Death is a vital component to turning the tide of many of the US’s most prominent conflicts, including the Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and more. Since The Covenant was based on a true story, the full might of the AC-130 had to be shown in action. Along with the epic scene at the end of The Covenant, the ship represents the full might of the American war machine, something that the film examines through a commercial and critical lens.

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