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.”
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.
“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.