Defense

August 3, 2016
 

Compass Call receives an upgrade

Amn. Nathan H. Barbour
Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.

A cockpit upgraded via an avionic viability is powered on for demonstration in an EC-130H Compass Call at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., July 19, 2016. The upgrade revitalizes the cockpit with liquid crystal displays that consolidate vital flight information such as precision ground mapping.

Since it became operational, the EC-130H Compass Call has demonstrated its electronic combat power in tactical air operations around the world, and this year the aircraft has achieved another first.

The aircraft has received an avionic viability program upgrade to make it more effective in combat while maintaining compliance with federal and international aviation regulations.

“This program has been in the works for almost three years at a cost of about $45 million,” said Maj. Gerardo Sanchez, 42nd Electronic Combat Squadron, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., assistant director of operations. “Currently we have two aircraft here at D-M, with the 55th ECG, and we have two more scheduled for delivery.”

Airmen from the 42nd Electronic Combat Squadron perform pre-flight checks in an EC-130H Compass Call before executing its first training mission with an upgraded cockpit acquired via an avionic viability program at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., July 11, 2016. The 42nd ECS’s Compass Calls were the first to be upgraded in an Air Force-wide plan to update its entire fleet of EC-130s via the AVP.

The upgrade revitalizes the cockpit with liquid crystal displays that consolidate vital flight information.

“With the new upgrades, we can grab the information with the push of a button,” Sanchez said. “It increases the pilot’s situational awareness tenfold.”

This launched the beginning of a plan for the entire EC-130 fleet to become upgraded via the AVP.

Capt. Gregory Jackson, 42nd Electronic Combat Squadron assistant director of operations, demonstrates the upgraded navigation system in an EC-130H Compass Call at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., July 19, 2016. With new radar upgrades provided via an avionic viability program, the EC-130H has improved navigation performance in order to sharpen tactics, techniques and procedures for precision electronic attack.

“With this new AVP modernization program of the EC-130 fleet we are more capable with precision navigation,” Sanchez said. “With the new radar upgrades, the EC-130H has improved navigation performance in order to sharpen tactics, techniques and procedures for precision electronic attack.”

The 55th ECG has set up a training plan led by approximately 20 members who have been trained as cadre to familiarize personnel with the new system. AVP training for all flight deck personnel is projected to be completed in March 2017.
 

An EC-130H Compass Call prepares to take off to execute the first training mission with an upgraded cockpit acquired via the avionic viability program at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., July 11, 2016. Since it became operational in 1983, the EC-130H Compass Call has demonstrated its electronic combat power in tactical air operations around the world.




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