US Air Force takes delivery of first EC-37B electronic attack aircraft


BAE Systems and L3Harris Technologies have delivered the first of 10 EC-37B Compass Call aircraft to the United States Air Force (USAF) for formal combined developmental and operational testing.  

The EC-37B Compass Call is a new electronic attack aircraft, which is designed to disrupt enemy communications, radars, and navigation systems, and suppress enemy air defenses.  

The program saw L3Harris integrate BAE Systems’ mission system from the EC-130H Compass Call, based on the C-130 Hercules airframe, into a smaller and more modern Gulfstream G550 business jet. This provides the platform with increased speed, endurance, and altitude ceiling. 

“The delivery of the first EC-37B Compass Call is a major milestone for our customer’s electromagnetic attack capabilities,” said Dave Harrold, vice president and general manager, Countermeasure and Electromagnetic Attack at BAE Systems. “We take pride in delivering this critical EW capability to keep the US at the vanguard for defense and deterrence.” 

The original EC-130H Compass Call conducted its inaugural flight in 1981, was officially handed over to the USAF in 1982, and achieved initial operating capability by 1983. Throughout its 40-year operational life, the aircraft was deployed in various theaters including Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan. 

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