The U.S. Air Force plans to grant L3 Technologies authority to determine how to replace the military branch’s EC-130H Compass Call electronic attack aircraft, Defense One reported Tuesday.
Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, military deputy to the Air Force’s assistant secretary for acquisition, told Defense One the branch looks to transfer 10 EC-130H electronic packages to new aircraft that could provide higher flight capacity.
BAE Systems built the aircraft’s prime mission equipment while L3 served as the aircraft integration and depot maintenance provider, according to the Air Force website.
Defense One reported L3 will transfer and reinstall the EC-130H electronics into 10 new commercial aircraft as lead systems integrator of the replacement program.
Acting Air Force Secretary Lisa Disbrow has said she believes that a lead systems integrator approach is an “efficient, expedient and cost-effective” way to re-host the Compass Call technology onto non-developmental commercial aircraft.
Boeing, Gulfstream Aerospace and Bombardier are the companies expected to bid on the EC-130H replacement program, the report stated.
Emily Grabowski, an Air Force spokeswoman, estimates the program will cost $2 billion over 10 years.