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SABER undergoes tests on Compass Call
BAE Systems is ‘paving the way for a critical software upgrade’ to the EC-37B replacement for the EC-130H Compass Call EW aircraft, after successfully flight testing its Small Adaptive Bank of Electronic Resources (SABER) technology.
Teams from BAE Systems and the USAF conducted 11 test flights of an EC-130H from Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona, the company added in a 5 April statement.
SABER will provide the backbone of the operating system on the EC-37B, which is based on the Gulfstream G550 commercial business jet.
The solution is built on a suite of software-defined radios using an open system architecture. BAE Systems described it as ‘a major technological advance’ that enables the USAF to make the transition to software-based electromagnetic spectrum warfare.
Additional SABER testing in 2021 will focus on ‘simultaneity of engagement capacity, dynamic resource sharing, rapid integration, and operation of multiple additional applications’, BAE Systems added.
There are 13 EC-130H aircraft in USAF service with an expected retirement date of 2025. The EC-37B programme began in FY2017 with an estimated procurement cost of $1.45 billion for ten aircraft, although Shephard Defence Insight notes delays in the contracting phase.
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SABER will equip EC-37B Compass Call EW aircraft for the USAF. (Photo: BAE Systems)
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