Thales chooses Curtiss-Wright rugged, pre-integrated mission computer for threat warning system

ASHBURN, Va. Thales U.K. engineers in Addlestone, England, sought a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) open-architecture computer for use with the company’s new Elix-IR Next Generation Threat Warning System. They found their solution: a Packaged COTS (PCOTS) pre-integrated, rugged mission computer from Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division in Ashburn, Virginia.

Apr 16th, 2018
Thales chooses Curtiss-Wright rugged, pre-integrated mission computer for threat warning system
Thales chooses Curtiss-Wright rugged, pre-integrated mission computer for threat warning system
ASHBURN, Va. Thales U.K. engineers in Addlestone, England, sought a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) open-architecture computer for use with the company’s new Elix-IR Next Generation Threat Warning System. They found their solution: a Packaged COTS (PCOTS) pre-integrated, rugged mission computer from Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division in Ashburn, Virginia.

Elix-IR is an airborne multifunction passive infrared (IR) threat warning system designed to provide enhanced mission survivability. Under the contract, Curtiss-Wright will provide Thales with a custom PCOTS rugged mission computer combines Curtiss-Wright 3U OpenVPX single-board computers, two FPGA cards, and switches housed in a rugged chassis.

Developed though a Technology Demonstrator Program (TDP) jointly funded by Thales and the U.K. Ministry of Defence, Elix-IR provides advanced combined simultaneous and unimpeded missile warning, hostile fire indication (HFI), and 360-degree coverage from a single sensor system. The system can detect passive ManPortable Air Defense Systems (ManPADS) and CrewPADS, while offering HFI of small-to-large caliber guns, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), and other unguided rockets that are threatening the platform.

Designed for use on a wide range of rotary and fixed-wing platforms, such as helicopters, transport aircraft, and VIP aircraft the system has a growth path to support fast jets and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

The initial system development contract is valued at $300,000, while the potential lifetime value of the production contract is estimated at $30 million. Production will begin in late 2018 and is expected to run through 2028. Elix-IR is scheduled for production release in the third quarter of 2018.

"We are very excited to have been selected by Thales UK to provide our pre-integrated COTS rugged mission computer for use with this important next-generation threat warning system and especially proud that it has been developed by our UK systems team to support Thales locally,” says Lynn Bamford, senior vice president and general manager of the Defense Solutions division.

Curtiss-Wright is manufacturing the products covered by this agreement at its List X facility in Letchworth, U.K. The products will be shipped to Thales in Reading, U.K.

Curtiss-Wright Corp. is a global company that delivers highly engineered, critical-function products and services to the commercial, industrial, defense, and energy markets. Building on the heritage of Glenn Curtiss and the Wright brothers, Curtiss-Wright has a long tradition of providing reliable solutions through trusted customer relationships. The company employs approximately 8,600 people worldwide.

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