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L3Harris completes first flight of new US Air Force electronic warfare aircraft


L3Harris Technologies reached a significant milestone in electronic warfare (EW), completing the first flight of what will become the U.S. Air Force’s advanced Compass Call aircraft designed to combat enemy threats.

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L3Harris completes first flight of new Air Force electronic warfare aircraft Concept art of an operational USAF EC-37B (Picture source: L3Harris)


L3Harris is working with an industry team to integrate the Compass Call EW system onboard the modern Gulfstream G550 business jet. The G550 has increased speed, endurance and extended stand-off range over the legacy EC-130H aircraft – providing significantly improved survivability. L3Harris is supporting initial modification efforts at the Gulfstream facility where the first flight occurred.

The system features modular open system architecture, which enables rapid integration of new technology and reduces overall cost of future upgrades. Its size, weight and power enable customers to add new capabilities for evolving mission needs.

“The Air Force’s cross-deck initiative ensures it can continue its critical electronic warfare mission for many years,” said Luke Savoie, President, Aviation Services, L3Harris. “Our collaboration with teammates BAE and Gulfstream will enable the Air Force to outpace its adversaries and counter emerging technologies.”

The Air Force’s Compass Call program has been in operation for 40 years. The EC-130H fleet is the longest continuously deployed Air Force aircraft in the Global War on Terror, serving as a key EW platform since 2002.