By Intelligent Aerospace staff
RENO, Nev. – Military avionics experts at Tactical Air Support Inc. (TacAir) in Reno, Nev., needed cockpit-accessible rugged data recorders and mission computers to upgrade the company's fleet of F-5 E/F Tiger II supersonic jet fighters. They found their solution from the Curtiss-Wright Corp. Defense Solutions division in Ashburn, Va.
TacAir awarded a contract worth more than $1 million to Curtiss-Wright to provide a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) Parvus DuraCOR 8042 processor and Data Transport System three-slot (DTS3) network attached storage (NAS) file server for Tactical Air Support F-5E/F jet fighters.
TacAir owns and operates a fleet of 26 Northrop Grumman F-5 fighter aircraft and military avionics, largely consisting of an improved, lower flight-time version of the current adversary platform of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.
TacAir has operated F-5 aircraft since 2013. The F-5 is operational with 19 international air forces. The company is upgrading its F-5 fleet into advanced tactical aircraft with sensor and systems capabilities on-par with current U.S. military fourth-generation fighter aircraft, TacAir officials say.
Since its inception in 2005, TacAir has provided government and the aviation industry with consulting and training services modeled after a weapons school with weapons school instructors, graduates, adversaries, and test pilots.
The company's F-5s are upgraded with head-up display (HUD) and hands-on-throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) systems, open-architecture mission computers, and tailored operational flight programs that enable integration of advanced radar and radar warning receivers, infrared search-and-track, electronic attack systems, datalinks, and high off-boresight simulated weapons.
The Curtiss-Wright DTS3 file server supports FIPS 140-2 hardware encrypted solid-state data storage that communicates via Ethernet to a modified version of Curtiss-Wright's DuraCOR 80-42 modular mission computer.
The DTS3 NAS file server is for aircraft, as well as for mobile vehicles and field ground stations. The rugged unit integrates into network-centric systems to provide a network file server. The system hosts three removable memory cartridges -- each of which supports as much as two terabytes of stored data. Users can remove the unit from one DTS3 and install it into another DTS3.
The Parvus DuraCOR 8042 rugged modular mission computer subsystem is based on a quad-core, eight-thread, fifth-generation Intel Core i7 Broadwell microprocessor. The small-form-factor mission computer is qualified to MIL-STD environmental and EMI testing.
Its PCI Express Mini Card slots and a PCI Express/104 bus architecture supports rapid add-on I/O module integration for size, weight, and power (SWaP)-sensitive applications. It combines graphics and multi-core processing in a fanless IP67 design.
On this contract Curtiss-Wright will do the work in Dayton, Ohio, and Salt Lake City, and should be finished by this summer. Curtiss-Wright will ship products to the TacAir facility in St. Augustine, Fla.
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