Extreme Machines

March 10, 2020

Extreme Machines

Authored by Neil Tyler. Published in New Electronics

Few companies have the historical pedigree of Curtiss-Wright, formed in 1929 out of the merger of companies founded by Glen Curtiss, a leading innovator in naval aviation, and the Wright Brothers.

Over the past 90 years the company has changed immeasurably and today can claim leadership in advanced technologies for high performance platforms and critical applications, in sectors including industrial, power and defence.

When it comes defence the company supports a wide range of different programmes across naval, aerospace and ground defence markets linked by a host of sophisticated embedded computing products and electronics – it’s a market that, like most others, is facing massive challenges and, according to Paul Hart, the company’s Defense Solutions, CTO, Avionics and Electronics, “The pace of change has been truly astounding and the challenges are certainly significant. Today’s supply chain has been set up to address the needs of consumer electronics and not the military. It’s not been designed to address the problem of obsolescence, which is a critical issue for the military.

“It’s the overarching shadow that looms across almost everything we do,” he concedes. “We need to be able to mitigate the component-level risk of obsolescence and that can only be done by designing with open architectures that will enable easier part replacement.

“It requires better and more proactive planning when it comes to inserting new technology into a programme that, in many cases, will have a long active life.”

All of this requires extensive support for programmes and sourcing off-the-shelf (COTS) parts.

“Curtiss-Wright looks to work with open architectures. We have to ensure that programmes are able to run continuously, and should a new component be required, a processor for example, that it can be run in a mode that will emulate a previous generation,” Hart explains.

Open architectures are critical because long service military equipment may need to be deployed in a manner that’s completely at odds with its original specification.

“The nature of warfare and the threats countries face continue to evolve, so the ability to upgrade equipment and adapt it to address new threats is critical.

“We need to be able to install new avionics hardware and software, so we need to avoid proprietary systems.

Read the full article.

Open Standards are Key to Resolving Today's Challenges

As a result of our long-time commitment to developing modular COTS solutions based on open standards architecture, along with our dedication to industry collaboration and open standards development, Curtiss-Wright is ideally positioned to deliver ruggedized, reliable, and secure COTS solutions that are aligned with key industry standards.

Total LifeCycle Management (TLCM)

With Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions’ Total LifeCycle Management (TLCM), you will gain a dedicated partner with industry insights that enhance your team’s capabilities, a proactive DMS strategy, and a custom portal for configuration control, allowing you to focus your resources elsewhere while still keeping a finger on the pulse of your program.