The US Air Force’s (USAF) EC-130H Compass Call flight deck simulator has entered service following the completion of an upgrade.

About $10.5m has been spent on the upgradation of the 42nd Electronic Combat Squadron’s (ECS) flight simulator.

The upgrade involved adding a new glass cockpit, which allows EC-130H pilots to keep up with the aviation community and civilian advances.

42nd ECS assistant director of operations and evaluator pilot major Christina Lakey said: “With this upgrade, we are now capable of flying and navigating safely around the world for the foreseeable future.”

The upgrade also provides a safer and cheaper way of training flight deck aviators.

“The latest system renovation is expected to improve training, crew confidence for deployments, and mission readiness.”

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Lakey added: “We are allowed to do manoeuvres in the sim that would be dangerous to do in the actual aircraft, making us more proficient with any situation that would happen in flight, for instance, we practice shutting down engines and dealing with engine fires and inclement weather.”

The latest system renovation is expected to improve training, crew confidence for deployments, and mission readiness.

Lockheed Martin, L3 Communications and BAE Systems have jointly developed the EC-130H Compass Call airborne, wide area tactical weapon system for the USAF.

Capable of disrupting enemy command and control networks, the EC-130H can be used for electronic warfare, tactical air, and countermeasure missions in support of the US and coalition tactical air, surface, and special operations forces.

Image: The 42nd ECS flight simulator went through a $10.5m upgrade to better prepare the pilots for their future flights. Photo: courtesy of the USAF photo by senior airman Ashley N Steffen.