The EC-130H Compass Call is a highly modified C-130 Hercules that is designed to interfere and disrupt enemy command and control communications. The Compass Call platform is old. It obtained operational status in 1983 and the Air Force is hoping for a replacement soon.
“There’s always a requirement to improve,” Lt. Col. Matthew, mission commander with the 43rd Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron, said during a recent interview.
While tactics, techniques and procedures evolve, “you also need that hardware piece to keep up with adversaries too and that’s what EC-X is going to provide,” Matthew said.
“We have old aircraft — we have tails out there right now that are from 1973, and as the aircraft ages, we run into more and more maintenance problems,” he said of the modified C-130 Hercules reconfigured for the job.
“There’s newer technology that can reduce the size and weight of our weapons system, so it can be hosted on a different aircraft … and there’s potential for it to be more capable, so if you think about [it] … the more room you have, the more capability there’s potential for,” Matthew said. – DoDBuzz
Featured image of Maintainers at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, standing by as the aircrew starts the engines on an EC-130H Compass Call’s. The aircraft is assigned to the 41st Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron. The Compass Call is an airborne tactical weapon system used to deny, degrade and disrupt the enemy’s ability to communicate. Since April 2004, 41st EECS EC-130s have flown more than 700 combat sorties supporting ground forces in Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. James H. Cunningham