January 30, 2012

Contract Award: General Dynamics to provide additional Mission Planning Systems for U.S. Navy aircrafts

News Report

As announced by U.S. DoD, General Dynamics was recently awarded a $20,585,146 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract to exercise an option for the full-rate production of 80 Type 3 Advanced Mission Computers (AMC) for the U.S. Navy F/A-18E/F and E/A-18G aircraft.

The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

The Technology

General Dynamics' Advanced Mission Computer is the nerve center of the Super Hornet, providing situational awareness and combat systems control to the flight crew. A ruggedized, high-performance/high-reliability integrated information processing and mission & display-processing system, the AMC relies on a Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS), open systems architecture. It performs general purpose, input/output, video, voice and graphics processing and is designed to operate reliably in the extreme environmental conditions of today’s high-performance fighter aircraft.  The AMC is also able to process the high-speed data flows from the latest in sensor technology, and it communicates with aircraft systems over several databuses, including MIL-STD-1553, fibre optic Fibre Channel, and Local PCI.

The Context

General Dynamics has been delivering AMCs for the F/A-18 since 2002.  Since then, the nature of the work on this program has expanded from production for newly produced aircraft to include supplying Navy efforts to retrofit operational aircraft.

A $30.6 million contract was awarded to General Dynamics on March 2010 for the production of 118 Type-3 AMS for the F/A-18 Super Hornet aircrafts.

In the meantime, on November 2011 the U.S. Navy selected Boeing to jointly develop a new Type 4 Advanced Mission Computer (AMC) system for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler. The Type 4 AMC system will offer improved aircraft performance and image and mission-processing functions, and is scheduled to replace the existing Type 3 AMC. The new system will better position the war-fighters for future U.S. Navy Flightplan capability upgrades, i.e. technology insertion plan to ensure the modernisation of the aircraft ahead of future threats.

References: U.S. DoD (1), General Dynamics (2), Naval Technology (3), Avionics Intelligence (4)

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