US Air Force Receives First EC-37B Compass Call EW Aircraft

The US Air Force has received its first of 10 EC-37B Compass Call electronic warfare aircraft for “formal combined developmental and operational testing.”

The aircraft are set to replace the Air Combat Command’s aging EC-130H aircraft, which will be retired.

The EC-37B will be utilized for electronic warfare to disrupt enemy communications, radar, and navigation systems.

EC-37B Compass Call Aircraft

The EC-37B is a combination of BAE’s Compass Call electronic warfare system and a Gulfstream G550 commercial business jet airframe.

BAE’s Compass Call has been providing legacy EC-130H aircraft with electronic attack capability since the 1980s.

“Our team accomplished the incredible challenge of migrating the Compass Call mission equipment from the much larger EC-130H and fully integrating it into the Gulfstream G550 platform,” said L3Harris President of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Jason Lambert.

BAE Vice President and General Manager of Countermeasure & Electromagnetic Attack Dave Harrold called the deliver a “major milestone for our customer’s electromagnetic attack capabilities.”

“We take pride in delivering this critical EW capability to keep the US at the vanguard for defense and deterrence,” he added.

EC-37B Development

The EC-37B’s inaugural flight took place in 2021, followed by the final delivery of its key hardware in 2022.

L3Harris conducted the Compass Call’s “missionized” maiden flight in May of this year.

The first two EC-37Bs are expected to achieve initial operational capability this year. Once completed, the aircraft will be operated by the US Air Force 55th Electronic Combat Group.

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