BAE transitions Compass Call EW systems to meet USAF requirements

11 July 2018 (Last Updated July 11th, 2018 12:08)

BAE Systems has commenced work to transition its advanced Compass Call electronic warfare (EW) systems to modern aircraft to help enhance mission effectiveness.

BAE transitions Compass Call EW systems to meet USAF requirements
A special-mission Gulfstream EC-37B aircraft. Credit: BAE Systems.

BAE Systems has commenced work to transition its advanced Compass Call electronic warfare (EW) systems to modern aircraft to help enhance mission effectiveness.

Commonly known as the Cross Deck initiative, the transition will enable the US Air Force (USAF) to continue disrupting hostile command and control capabilities in denied environments.

Advanced EW capabilities from the USAF’s EC-130H Compass Call electronic attack aircraft will be moved to a modern Gulfstream G550 conformal airborne early warning aircraft (CAEW) capable of addressing airforce requirements.

Designated as the EC-37B, the aircraft will support Compass Call capabilities that are required in multiple mission plans to support operations in anti-access / area denial and irregular warfare environments.

“The cross-decking programme enables the airforce to maintain existing, unmatched EW mission capabilities in an economical business jet that can fly faster, higher and farther than its predecessor.”

The new business jet will offer enhanced stand-off jamming capability and flexibility to USAF combatant commanders in order to help counter advanced communications and radar threats.

BAE Systems Electronic Attack Solutions director Pamela Potter said: “The Compass Call mission electronics are world-class EW systems that are in high demand from operational commanders because of their electronic attack capabilities and their ability to protect critical missions.

“The cross-decking programme enables the airforce to maintain existing, unmatched EW mission capabilities in an economical business jet that can fly faster, higher and farther than its predecessor, improving mission effectiveness and survivability.”

Working as the mission system integrator for the Cross Deck programme, BAE Systems has collaborated with L3 Technologies to carry out the transition.

Last year, the company and its partners completed the initial design review of the Compass Call weapon system. The final design review is expected to be carried out later this year.

Initial upgrades of the first Gulfstream G550 are currently underway, with the first two of the ten business jets planned to be fielded in 2023.

Compass Call is an airborne tactical weapon system that has ensured protection and supported special missions on Lockheed Martin’s EC-130H aircraft since 1981.