Thursday, May 16, 2024

US Air Force’s new electronic-attack jet prepares for first flight

U.S. Air Force’s next electronic warfare aircraft, the EC-37B Compass Call, prepares for its first flight.

According to a press release from L3Harris, the specialized EC-37B aircraft, a special-mission Gulfstream G550, is preparing for delivery, including the initial coat of paint.

The Compass Call Cross Deck team – L3Harris Technologies, BAE Systems and Gulfstream – is focused on delivering the EC-37B fleet to replace the retiring EC-130H electronic attack platform.

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“Upcoming milestones include flight and mission system testing for the aircraft,” the news release says.

The EC-37B is based on the commercially available G550, and not a military-specific airframe. The new Compass Call will be able to be maintained primarily in the field without the need for significant depot maintenance time as the decades-old EC-130Hs require.

The G550 platform has increased speed, endurance and extended stand-off range over the legacy EC-130H aircraft – providing significantly improved survivability. The new platform will provide combatant commanders with improved stand-off jamming capability and flexibility to counter sophisticated communications and radar threats.

The G550’s superior reliability and sustainability mean that just 10 EC-37B aircraft provide equivalent EW capacity as the original high-demand 14 EC-130H aircraft fleet.

The Compass Call mission system disrupts enemy command and control communications and limits adversary coordination essential for enemy force management. The Compass Call system employs offensive counter-information and EW capabilities in support of U.S. and coalition tactical air, surface and special operations forces. It is part of the suppression of enemy air defense triad, and programmed upgrades expanded its mission by procuring a secondary EA capability against early warning and acquisition radars.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

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