General Dynamics Advanced Integration Systems has edged out competitors to win a 18-month, $6.1 million contract to upgrade the mission computers for the U.S. Navy's fleet of AV-8B Harrier II fighter jets.
(An AV-8B Harrier II assigned to takes off of the flight deck of the USS Kearsarge, at sea. Photo, courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps.)
Under the contract, General Dynamics engineers will configure the AV-8B's mission system computers with a third-generation open systems processor. The goal of the open systems processor is to support the implementation of the Navy's Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) application program interface into the Harrier II's mission system computer.
"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," said Mike Tweed-Kent, vice president and general manager of the mission integration systems division at General Dynamics.
The company will also provide overall support for the FACE project, a government-industry/academia consortium that is developing a new technical standard to govern how avionics software communicates with other software and hardware components to control mission critical systems.
According to General Dynamics, the third-generation open systems processor will include software upgrades to host required navigation performance (RNP) and area navigation (RNAV) flight applications. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Directorate is working on integrating the RNP and RNAV applications into the mission computers.
The AV-8B Harrier II mission computers upgrades are scheduled to be complete by 2015.