The EC-130J is the Air Force’s primary psychological warfare platform, providing military information support operations (MISO) and civil affairs broadcast.
Roles include offensive counterinformation radio, television, and military communications broadcast, EA (or SOF mobility), depending on variant. EC-130J and legacy Commando Solo variants have conducted psychological operations in almost every US contingency since 1980.
The EC-130J Commando Solo is equipped with radio and color television broadcast equipment for psychological warfare, enhanced navigation, and self-protection including Large Aircraft IR Countermeasures (LAIRCM) to counter MANPAD threats. With transition to the EC-130J, USAF added a new, secondary mission resulting in a second variant. Three heavily modified EC-130J Commando Solo aircraft serve as a standard broadcasting station for psychological warfare operations.
Four EC-130Js, dubbed Super J, perform secondary, low-cost EA on top of their special operations mobility SOF-FLEX (Special Operations Flexible) mission. SOF-FLEX includes personnel and cargo airdrop, combat offload, and infiltration/ exfiltration.
USAF is working to develop an Operational Flight Program Block upgrade cycle for the EC-130J’s mission specific equipment, and the airframe is undergoing Block 8.1 upgrades in tandem with the base-line C-130J. SOCOM is currently funding accelerated development, testing and fielding of the Multi-Mission Platform-Heavy (MMP-H) digital broadcast system which will allow all aircraft to be de-modified to a SOF multimission configuration. MMP-H enables standoff radio, television, UHF/ VHF, and cellular broadcast against denied threats from up to 175 miles away.
The fleet is receiving Link 16 networking to integrate with other SOF assets, and critical needs include acquiring Communication EA Surveillance and Reconnaissance (CEASAR) and Long-Range Broadcast System (LRBS) pods for the four remaining non-equipped aircraft.
Contractors: Lockheed Martin; Raytheon.
First Flight: April 5, 1996 (C-130J).
Delivered: Oct. 17, 1999-2006.
Inventory: Three (Commando Solo); four (Super J).
Aircraft Location: Harrisburg Arpt., Pa.
Active Variants: •EC-130J Commando Solo. Modified C-130J used for broadcast and psyops. •EC-130J Super J. Modified C-130J used for SOF mobility and psyops.
Dimensions: Span 132.6 ft, length 97.8 ft, height 38.8 ft.
Weight: Max T-O 164,000 lb.
Power Plant: Four Rolls-Royce-Allison AE2100D3 turboprops, each 4,637 shp.
Performance: Speed 335 mph cruise, range 2,645 miles (air refuelable).
Ceiling: 28,000 ft.
Accommodation: Two pilots, flight systems officer, mission systems officer; two loadmasters, five electronic communications systems (CS) operators.