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December 2, 2021

USAF and BAE Systems to install new Compass Call system on EC-37B

BAE’s SABER technology will form the backbone of the EC-37B aircraft’s operating system.

The US Air Force (USAF) and BAE Systems have partnered to install the ‘advanced electronic warfare system’ Compass Call onto the ‘next-generation’ EC-37B aircraft.

BAE described the installation as a ‘critical upgrade’ for the EC-37B Baseline 4 platform.

The company’s Small Adaptive Bank of Electronic Resources (SABER) system will allow Compass Call to transition from hardware to software-based electromagnetic spectrum warfare capability.

The platform is built on a set of software-defined radios using an ‘open system architecture’, which will form the backbone of the EC-37B aircraft’s operating system.

BAE Systems Electronic Attack Solutions director Pam Potter said: “This is a leading-edge upgrade that integrates third-party apps, giving aircrews the capability to respond to threats faster than ever before.”

The EC-37B Compass Call 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 airframe.

The airborne tactical electronic attack weapon system is designed to disrupt enemy command and control communications by preventing essential information from being transmitted between adversaries, their weapon systems and control networks.

Earlier this year, BAE’s system was flight-tested on an EC-130H. The USAF’s EC-130H Compass Call fleet is due to be replaced with the EC-37B Compass Call aircraft.

The system will also be re-hosted on the Gulfstream G550, designated as the EC-37B when it becomes operational, as a ’21st-century electronic attack platform’.

BAE Systems said that Compass Call Baseline 4 is being developed at its Hudson, Nashua, San Diego and Dallas facilities.

In October, BAE Systems and Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) received a contract from the USAF to design a prototype for the ‘next-generation’ open architecture signals intelligence (SIGINT) sensor.

The design will be developed under the USAF’s global high-altitude open-system sensor technology (GHOST) programme.

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