Lockheed EC-130H Compass Call

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EC-130H Compass Call
EC-130H Compass Call 060617.jpg
An EC-130H Compass Call flies a training mission over Lake Mead, Arizona.
Role Electronic warfare (EW), Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD), offensive counter-information
Manufacturer Lockheed (airframe)
BAE Systems (prime mission equipment)
L3 Communications (aircraft integration and depot maintenance)
Introduction April 1982
Primary user United States Air Force
Number built 14 (USAF)
Unit cost
$165 million

The EC-130H Compass Call is an American airborne tactical weapon system using a heavily modified version of the C-130 Hercules airframe. It is based at Davis-Monthan AFB. The system attempts to disrupt enemy command and control communications and limits adversary coordination essential for enemy force management. Compass Call's offensive counterinformation and electronic attack capabilities are used to support U.S. and allied tactical air, surface, and special operations forces. Programmed upgrades will give a secondary Electronic Attack (EA) capability against early warning and acquisition radars.

U.S. airborne electronic warfare consists of four main elements: the EC-130H Compass Call, the Boeing EA-18 Growler, Northrop Grumman EA-6B Prowler, and the F-16CJ Fighting Falcon suppress enemy air defenses while jamming communications, radar and command and control targets. Compass Call can be deployed worldwide at short notice.


The EC-130H fleet is composed of a mix of state-of-the-art baseline aircraft.



The EC-130H aircraft carries a combat crew of thirteen people. Four members are responsible for aircraft flight and navigation (aircraft commander, co-pilot, navigator and flight engineer), while nine members operate and employ the EA mission equipment permanently integrated in the cargo/mission compartment. The mission crew includes the mission crew commander (electronic warfare officer), weapon system officer (electronic warfare officer), mission crew supervisor (an experienced cryptologic linguist), four analysis operators (linguists), one acquisition operator and an airborne maintenance technician.[1]

Operational history[edit]

Compass Call has been used in locations including Kosovo, Haiti, Panama, Iraq, Serbia, Afghanistan.

From 2002 to 2015, EC-130Hs participating in Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan and Operation Freedom's Sentinel flew over 40,000 hours during 6,900 combat sorties.[2]


United States Air Force

Egyptian Air Force[3][4][5]

Specifications (EC-130H)[edit]

Data from Air Force Link: EC-130H Compass Call[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 13
  • Length: 97 ft, 9 in (29.3 m)
  • Wingspan: 132 ft, 7 in (39.7 m)
  • Height: 38 ft, 3 in (11.4 m)
  • Wing area: ft² (m²)
  • Empty weight: 101,000 lb (45,813 kg)
  • Loaded weight: lb (kg)
  • Useful load: lb (kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 155,000 lb (69,750 kg)
  • Powerplant: 4 × Allison T56-A-15 turboprop, 4,591 hp (kW) each


See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


  1. ^ a b "Factsheets : EC-130H Compass Call". United States Air Force. 5 November 2010. Archived from the original on 20 July 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  2. ^ Wickman, Tony (11 September 2015). "41st EECS Scorpions defend the force with Compass Call". U.S. Air Forces Central Command. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  3. ^ "Egypt - Air Force Lockheed EC-130H Hercules photo by Antoine Cascail". Airplane-pictures.net. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  4. ^ "Aircraft Museum - C-130 Hercules". Aerospaceweb.org. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  5. ^ "Armed Forces Overviews: Egypt Air Force". Scramble.nl. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 

External links[edit]