A Gulfstream G550 jet being modified by L3Harris Technologies to become the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation airborne electronic warfare system has marked its first flight.
The future EC-37B Compass Call aircraft is envisioned to provide increased speed, endurance and stand-off range than legacy Air Force electronic warfare planes, the defense contractor said Wednesday.
The modified business aircraft recently took off from an unnamed Gulfstream facility.
L3Harris is the modernization effort’s system integrator tasked to install Compass Call EW systems previously removed from existing EC-130H aircraft onto the new G550 jets, according to a report.
Compass Call features a modular open system architecture that enables the Air Force to install additional capabilities in the future to meet changing mission requirements while ensuring a faster integration process.
“The Air Force’s cross-deck initiative ensures it can continue its critical electronic warfare mission for many years,” said Luke Savoie, president of L3Harris’ aviation services sector.
The Air Force Compass Call EW program has been in operation for over four decades, with the EC-130Hs serving in the fleet since 2002.