The EC-130H Compass Call is an American airborne tactical weapon system using a heavily modified version of the C-130 Hercules airframe. It is based at Davis-Monthan AFB. The system attempts to disrupt enemy command and control communications and limits adversary coordination essential for enemy force management. Compass Call's offensive counter-information and electronic attack capabilities are used to support U.S. and allied tactical air, surface, and special operations forces. Programmed upgrades will give a secondary Electronic Attack (EA) capability against early warning and acquisition radars.
U.S. airborne electronic warfare consists of three main elements: the EC-130H Compass Call, the EA-18 Growler, and the F-16CJ Fighting Falcon suppress enemy air defenses while jamming communications, radar and command and control targets. Compass Call can be deployed worldwide at short notice.
|Role||Electronic warfare (EW), Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD), offensive counter-information|
BAE Systems (prime mission equipment)
L3 Communications (aircraft integration and depot maintenance)
|Primary user||United States Air Force|
|Number built||14 (USAF)|
|Unit cost||$165 million|
The EC-130H aircraft carries a combat crew of thirteen people. Four members are responsible for aircraft flight and navigation (aircraft commander, co-pilot, navigator and flight engineer), while nine members operate and employ the EA mission equipment permanently integrated in the cargo/mission compartment. The mission crew includes the mission crew commander (electronic warfare officer), weapon system officer (electronic warfare officer), mission crew supervisor (an experienced cryptologic linguist), four analysis operators (linguists), one acquisition operator and an airborne maintenance technician.
United States Air Force
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