Compass Call aircraft

The US Air Force’s (USAF ) 55th Electronic Combat Group (55 ECG) took delivery of the first Baseline-2 modified EC-130H Compass Call aircraft at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona, US.

Enhancing EC-130H’s precision and attack capacity, the Baseline-2 modification is claimed to provide the US Department of Defense (DoD) with the equivalent of a "fifth generation electronic attack capability".

Guided by the Big Safari Program office and Air Force Material Command’s 661st Aeronautical Systems Squadron, the spiral upgrade acquisition strategy ensures the aircraft can counter new, emergent communication technology.

55 ECG commander colonel Marty Reynolds said, "One of the significant advantages of our program is that through our spiral upgrade process, Baseline-2 provides cutting edge technologies and the ability to be innovative as we support operations in the air, land, maritime, space and cyberspace domains."

Majority of the enhancements found in the EC-130H Compass Call Baseline-2 are classified modifications to the mission system, which augments its precision and also increase attack capacity.

Additional improvements include modifications to the airframe, and upgrade of the aircraft’s communication capabilities with expansion of satellite communications connectivity compatible with emerging DoD architectures, increased multi-asset coordination nets and upgraded data-link terminals.

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"The aircraft was also re-designed to expand the "plug-and-play" quick reaction capability aspect."

The aircraft was also re-designed to expand the "plug-and-play" quick reaction capability aspect, which enabled the programme to counter unique "one-off" high profile threats.

The EC-130H Compass Call is an airborne tactical weapon system widely used by USAF for disruption of enemy command and control (C2) communications and to limit adversary coordination essential for enemy force management.

Powered by four Allison AE2100D3 turboprop engines, the aircraft is also capable of employing offensive counter information and electronic attack capabilities in support of the US and Coalition tactical air, surface and special operations forces worldwide.

The aircraft has been used to exert powerful effect on enemy C2 networks during multiple military operations in Kosovo, Haiti, Panama, Iraq, Serbia and Afghanistan.

Image: The 55th Electronic Combat Group’s first modified EC-130H Compass Call Baseline-2 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, US. Photo: courtesy of ACC.

Defence Technology