General Dynamics Wins US Navy’s AV-8B Harrier II Jet Fleet Upgrade Contract

General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems was awarded a contract by the U.S. Navy to support the implementation of the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) application program interface onto a new Open Systems Processor card in the mission system computer for the AV-8B Harrier II jet.

Under the $6.1 million 18-month contract, General Dynamics will upgrade the Harrier’s mission computers to provide a common operating environment that supports faster, less expensive integration of common applications. General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems is a business unit of General Dynamics.

The FACE technical standard strengthens the U.S. military’s ability to address software obsolescence and enhances software portability and interoperability across the various Department of Defense airborne platforms. It is designed to reduce lifecycle costs, foster a competitive avionics marketplace and facilitate the adoption of new technologies supported by an open architecture environment.

 “We continuously look to implement technologies and solutions that reduce the costs of existing customer platforms,” said Mike Tweed-Kent, vice president and general manager of General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems Mission Integration Systems division. “Our work with the Navy on this contract exemplifies that philosophy. With sustainability and flexibility in mind, our open architecture design provides the Navy with a computing foundation that enables the quick, low-cost integration of emerging technologies and applications. This makes it possible for our customers to more rapidly and cost-effectively address their constantly evolving mission requirements.”

Under this contract, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems will configure the AV-8B’s mission system computers with a second, third-generation open systems processor. This configuration will include FACE software upgrades to host required navigation performance (RNP) and area navigation (RNAV) applications which are being integrated by the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Directorate. Once configured with the new open systems processor, General Dynamics will perform rigorous qualification testing of the mission computer hardware and core system software. The government will then conduct testing to ensure that the upgraded mission system computers support flight clearance and fleet introduction. General Dynamics will also provide technical support to the FACE implementation team, including the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Directorate.

General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems is the sole designer, developer and manufacturer of the mission system computer for the Harrier jets and the Advanced Mission Computers that are used on F/A-18E, F/A-18F and EA-18G aircraft. Built on a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS)-based open architecture, the General Dynamics airborne mission computers are ruggedized, high-performance, high-reliability mission and display-processing systems that are easily configurable to any operating environment. The systems perform general purpose, input/output, video and graphics processing and are designed to operate reliably in the extreme environmental conditions of today’s high-performance fighter aircraft.

Press Release, September 6, 2013


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