EC-130H Compass Call

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The EC-130H Compass Call is an airborne tactical weapon system using a heavily modified version of the C-130 Hercules airframe. The system disrupts enemy command and control communications and limits adversary coordination essential for enemy force management. The Compass Call system employs offensive counter-information and electronic attack (or EA) capabilities in support of U.S. and Coalition tactical air, surface, and special operations forces. The EC-130H, EA-6B or EA-18G, and F-16CJ, form the Suppression of Enemy Air Defense (SEAD) triad. Programmed upgrades have expanded its mission by procuring a secondary EA capability against early warning and acquisition radars. The EC-130H continuously tests new capabilities and tactics to respond to emerging threats and requests from combatant commanders.

General Characteristics

Primary function: Electronic warfare, suppression of enemy air defenses and offensive counter information

Contractors:  BAE Systems (prime mission equipment), and L3 Communications (aircraft integration and depot maintenance)

Power plant: four Allison T56-A-15 turboprops

Thrust: 4,910 prop shaft horsepower

Wingspan: 132 feet, 7 inches (39.7 meters)

Length: 97 feet, 9 inches (29.3 meters)

Height: 38 feet, 3 inches (11.4 meters)

Weight: Block 1, 107,000 pounds (48,534 kilograms); Block 2, 103,000 pounds (46,720 kilograms)

Maximum takeoff weight: 155,000 pounds (69,750 kilograms)

Fuel capacity: 62,000 pounds (28,182 kilograms)

Speed: 300 mph (Mach 0.52) at 20,000 feet (6,060 meters)

Range: 2,295 miles (3,694 kilometers)

Ceiling: 25,000 feet (7.6 kilometers)

Armament:  non-kinetic energy waveforms

Crew: 13 (two pilots, navigator, flight engineer, two electronic warfare officers, mission crew supervisor, four cryptologic linguists, acquisition operator and an airborne maintenance technician)

Unit Cost: $165 million

Initial operating capability: 1983

Inventory: active force, 14