The EC-130H Compass Call is an electronic attack aircraft primarily used by the United States Air Force. It is derived from the Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules and is massively improved to disturb and confuse enemy command and control communications, carry out counter-information offensive missions, and perform other types of electronic attacks.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics
United States
1982 to: Present
US$165 million (2019)
4x Allison T56-A-15
4,590 horsepower
Max Cruise Speed:
320 knots
593 Km/h
Approach Speed (Vref):
100 knots
Travel range:
2,295 Nautical Miles
4,250 Kilometers
Fuel Economy:
Service Ceiling:
25,000 feet
Rate of Climb:
1830 feet / minute
9.30metre / second
Take Off Distance:
1433 metre - 4,701.39 feet
Landing Distance:
2550 metre - 8,366.04 feet
Max Take Off Weight:
70,000 Kg
154,322 lbs
Max Landing Weight:
58,967 Kg
129,999 lbs
Max Payload:
45,000 Kg
99,207 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity:
10,000 gallon
37,854 litre
Baggage Volume:
Seats - Economy / General:
13 seats
Seats - Business Class:
Seats - First Class:
Cabin Height:
2.7 metre - 8.86 feet
Cabin Width:
3.1 metre - 10.17 feet
Cabin Length:
12.2 metre - 40.03 feet
Exterior Length:
29.79 metre - 97.74 feet
Tail height:
11.66 metre - 38.25 feet
Fuselage Diameter:
4.2 metre - 13.78 feet
Wing Span / Rotor Diameter:
40.41 metre - 132.58 feet
Wing Tips:
No Winglets

In 1981, the Compass Call conducted its maiden flight and became operational in 1983. The Lockheed EC-130H Compass Call is a joint effort between Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, and L3 Communications. By February 2014, the aircraft accomplished 10,400 combat missions and 64,200 flight hours. Since 2002, fourteen EC-130H were operated by the United States Air Force’s 55th Electronic Combat Group (ECG) at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona.

The airframe of the EC-130H is manufactured by Lockheed Martin and is an improved type of the C-130 Hercules. L3 Communications provided the aircraft integration and rebuilding of parts while BAE Systems supplied the prime mission equipment. The aircraft can accommodate a combat crew of thirteen; the commander, together with the co-pilot, navigator, and flight engineer is in charge of aircraft flight and navigation while the rest manage the EA mission equipment indelibly incorporated in the cargo/mission compartment.

The EC-130H fleet is composed of Block 20, Block 30, and Block 35 aircraft.

The Block 35 Baseline 1 EC-130H delivers supplementary capabilities to the Air Force to jam communications, early warning radar, and navigation systems through greater functional radiated power, stretched frequency radius, and digital signal processing. Baseline 1 aircraft can keep up with the opponent’s developing technology. It features improved crew capability, maintenance, and sustenance with a customary fleet design, up-to-date user interface, higher accuracy, and finer fault detection.

Baseline 2 features numerous improvements to simplify operator workload and enhance efficiency. Enhanced external communications enable the aircraft’s crew to sustain situational awareness and integration in powerful operational and tactical surroundings. Aircraft communications are also enhanced by expanding satellite communications connectivity incorporating DoD architectures, multi-asset coordination nets, and improved data-link terminals. Delivery of Baseline-2 brings the DoD with the correspondent of a “fifth-generation electronic attack capability”. It delivers better aircraft performance and endurance. A larger part of the enhancements in the aircraft are classified modifications to the mission system that improves accuracy and boost attack capacity.

Want More of This?
We'll send you our latest and best content straight to your inbox
Featured Image

All Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Aircraft

More Like This
Nakajima Ki-84
Military Propellor Planes
Nakajima Ki-84
Bell P-39 Airacobra
Military Propellor Planes
Bell P-39 Airacobra
Bell P-63 Kingcobra
Military Propellor Planes
Bell P-63 Kingcobra
Bristol Brigand
Military Propellor Planes
Bristol Brigand
Bristol Beaufighter
Military Propellor Planes
Bristol Beaufighter
Piaggio Aero P-166 DP1
Military Propellor Planes
Piaggio Aero P-166 DP1