The EC-130H is a modified C-130H designed to disrupt enemy C3
and limit adversary coordination and force management. Tasks include tactical jamming/disruption of communications, radar, and navigation, offensive counterinformation, EA, and SEAD support.
The fleet has been deployed near-constantly since the beginning of combat operations in Afghanistan in 2001.
The aircraft was designed to be easily updated and modified. All aircraft have been retrofit to Block 35 standards and are aerial refuelable. Mission equipment upgrades occur approximately every three years to ensure continued protection and effectiveness against evolving threats.
Baseline 2 mods are ongoing, and the Baseline 3 configuration, including the Advanced Radar Countermeasure System (ARCS) and other significant capability enhancements, is slated for fielding in 2023. Baseline 4 will be fielded on the next-generation EC-37B platform in 2026.
Some 70 percent of the EC-130H’s mission equipment will be directly cross-decked to the EC-37B. Funding delays required extending the EC-130H with center wing box replacement/structural mods (in common with the C-130H fleet) and upgrades include digital glass cockpits, Mode 5 IFF/airspace compliant CNS/ATM, and color weather radar.
Ongoing system upgrades include counter-radar/counter satellite navigation, third-generation Special Purpose Emitter Array (SPEAR), and adaptive EA to quickly react to emerging threats.
Ten primary mission aircraft are supplemented by two backups, two attrition reserves, and one system integration testbed. ACC retired the last Baseline 1 configured aircraft Jan. 15, 2020.
Contractors: Lockheed Martin; BAE Systems (mission equipment); L3Harris (integration and sustainment).
First Flight: 1981.
Delivered: March 19, 1982
IOC: 1983; Block 35 from 2011.
Inventory: 11 (EC-130H).
Aircraft Location: Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
Active Variants: •EC-130H. Electronic attack variant of the C-130H.
Dimensions: Span 132.6 ft, length 99 ft, height 38 ft.
Weight: Max T-O 155,000 lb.
Power Plant: Four Allison T56-A-15 turboprops, each 4,910 shp.
Performance: Speed 300 mph at 20,000 ft, unrefueled range 2,295 miles, seven hr normal endurance (air refuelable).
Ceiling: 25,000 ft.
Accommodation: Two pilots, navigator, flight engineer; mission crew: two EWOs; mission crew supervisor (cryptologic), four cryptologic linguists, acquisition operator, and airborne maintenance technician.