The Hercules probably is the most versatile tactical transport aircraft ever built. Its uses appear almost limitless: transportation, electronic surveillance, search and rescue, space-capsule recovery, helicopter refueling, landing (with skis) on snow and ice, gun ship and special cargo delivery. It has even landed and taken off from a carrier deck without benefit of arresting gear or catapults.
The EC-130E ABCCC consists of seven aircraft that are used as an Airborne Battlefield Command and Control Center. The EC-130E is a modified C-130 "Hercules"; aircraft designed to carry the USC-48 Airborne Battlefield Command and Control Center Capsules (ABCCC III). These one-of-a kind aircraft include the addition of external antennae to accommodate the vast number of radios in the capsule, heat exchanger pods for additional air conditioning, an aerial refueling system and special mounted rails for uploading and downloading the USC-48 capsule. The ABCCC has distinctive air conditioner intakes fore of the engines ("Mickey Mouse ears"), two HF radio probes-towards the tips of both wings, and three mushroom-shaped antennas on the top of the aircraft - and, of course, numerous antennas on the belly.
The EC-130E Commando Solo (initially known as Volant Solo) is available to commanders for localized targeting of specific avenues of communication. The EC-130E exists in Comfy Levi and Rivet Rider versions. A multi-purpose asset capable of conducting both PSYOP and EW, the EC-130E, Commando Solo, is an airborne platform "primarily designed for PSYOP." Commando Solo can conduct psychological broadcast missions in the standard AM, FM, HF, TV and military communications bands.
In a congressionally directed program, aging EC-130Es are being replaced with new C-130Js, with the current mission equipment being moved from the old aircraft to the new models.
The EC-130H Compass Call is the only US wide-area offensive information warfare platform, Compass Call provides disruptive communications jamming and other unique capabilities to support the Joint Force Commander across the spectrum of conflict. Compass Call is the designation for a modified version of Lockheed corporation's C-130 Hercules aircraft configured to perform tactical command, control and communications countermeasures or C3CM. Targeting command and control systems provides commanders with an immense advantage before and during the air campaign. COMPASS CALL provides a non-lethal means of denying and disrupting enemy command and control, degrading his combat capability and reducing losses to friendly forces.
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