BAE Systems flight tests SABER technology for EC-37B Compass Call upgrade

6 April 2021 (Last Updated April 6th, 2021 13:42)

BAE Systems has tested its Small Adaptive Bank of Electronic Resources (SABER) technology on a total of 11 flights of an EC-130H Compass Call aircraft.

BAE Systems flight tests SABER technology for EC-37B Compass Call upgrade
Teams from BAE Systems and the USAF conducted tests of SABER technology on 11 flights of an EC-130H from Davis Monthan AFB in Arizona. Credit: BAE Systems.

BAE Systems has tested its Small Adaptive Bank of Electronic Resources (SABER) technology on a total of 11 flights of an EC-130H Compass Call aircraft.

The flight tests were carried out along with teams from the US Air Force (USAF) Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona.

The USAF’s EC-130H Compass Call is a modified version of the C-130 Hercules airframe. This fleet will be replaced with the EC-37B Compass Call aircraft.

SABER technology, which complies with standards of US Department of Defense (DoD), will deliver the backbone of the EC-37B aircraft’s operating system.

The EC-37B Compass Call electronic warfare (EW) aircraft is being developed to provide improved electronic attack capabilities for the USAF.

It is based on the Gulfstream G550 Conformal Airborne Early Warning Aircraft (CAEW) airframe, which is a derivative of G550 business jet.

According to BAE, the SABER system is a technological advancement that ‘transitions’ from hardware to software-based electromagnetic spectrum warfare capability for the USAF and its Compass Call weapon system.

The SABER system is built on a set of software defined radios (SDRs) using an ‘open system architecture’.

BAE Systems Electronic Attack Solutions director Pam Potter said: “SABER allows flexibility to update systems without significant physical reconfiguration.

“It also adapts to new applications as well as revisions to existing applications. It is the technology that will enable the US Air Force (USAF) to rapidly and proactively respond to emerging enemy threat systems.”

SABER ‘embeds protective measures’ during product design and leverages an open architecture to enable hosting of various government contracted applications.

Additional SABER testing, to be held this year, will focus on ‘simultaneity of engagement capacity, dynamic resource sharing, rapid integration’, as well as operation of multiple additional applications.

BAE Systems noted that SABER technology work is being conducted at its Hudson facility.