Major Upgrade to US Air Force Compass Call

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BAE Systems successfully flight-tested three third-party software applications on its Scalable Adaptive Bank of Electronic Resources (SABER) technology. SABER is the backbone of Compass Call, a next-generation electromagnetic attack weapon system that disrupts enemy command and control communications, radar, and navigation systems. The test flights demonstrated the technology’s agility in delivering advanced electromagnetic warfare capabilities to Compass Call.

“BAE Systems has been keeping Compass Call ahead of the curve as its prime mission system contractor for more than 20 years,” said, director of Electronic Attack Solutions at BAE Systems, Jared Belinsky. “We’re continuously developing technology to help dominate the electromagnetic spectrum and keep our military service members safe.”

The hallmark of SABER is its open system architecture that enables the rapid integration of new technology through software updates instead of hardware reconfiguration. It also allows for multiple system upgrades to counter emerging threats, a company statement said.

The US Air Force Compass Call Test Team, with support from BAE Systems, tested the new applications. BAE Systems integrated the applications with a non-proprietary SABER software development kit. The successful flight test is leading to fielding of the SABER capability on the EC-130H.

The SABER system is a major technological advance – transitioning from hardware to software-based electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) warfare capability for the US Air Force and its Compass Call weapon system. The system is built on a suite of software defined radios using an open system architecture.

Compass Call is an airborne tactical electronic attack weapon system that disrupts enemy command and control communications, radars, and navigation systems to restrict adversary battlespace coordination. The weapon system supports the suppression of enemy air defences by preventing the transmission of essential information between adversaries, their weapon systems, and control networks. Compass Call has provided attack capability on the EC-130H since 1981.

The EC-130H Compass Call mission system is currently being transferred to the Gulfstream G550 business jet, designated the EC-37B. –bae/adj/mgm (Image: BAE Systems)

Picture Caption: Tan-coloured EC-37B flying above clouds tailed by grey EC-130H in the background