Innovative 5-Slot VPX Chassis Delivers Integration “Glide Path” for SOSA Aligned Solutions

PacStar MOSA Hybrid Solutions
New PacStar® VPX Smart Chassis is designed to fit into SAVE enclosure alongside a PacStar 400-Series 4-Slot Smart Chassis comms system, facilitating future transition to full CMOSS/SOSA aligned hardware solution


AUSA 2022, Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington D.C. (Hall A/B/C - Booth 1309) – October 10, 2022 – Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division, a leading developer and supplier of advanced Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) communications solutions for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), has debuted an innovative MIL-rugged 3U OpenVPX™ 5-slot chassis enclosure that shares a common mounting solution with its popular PacStar 400-Series 4-Slot Smart Chassis for PacStar 400-Series Modules, widely used today in numerous U.S. Army deployments. 

With ~50,000 PacStar 400-Series Modules and Chassis currently fielded by the DoD, the new PacStar VPX Smart Chassis enables system designers to rapidly and cost-effectively integrate CMOSS/SOSA aligned OpenVPX plug-in-cards via the same transportation and mounting solutions used by PacStar 400-Series tactical battlefield communications products. The PacStar VPX Smart Chassis is designed to fit into half the space claim of a Standard A-Kit Vehicle Envelope (SAVE) enclosure, the Army’s standard approach for fielding communications systems at the tactical edge. This  innovative “glide path” solution for easing the deployment of SOSA aligned and CMOSS based solutions provides the system designer with the flexibility to transition to CMOSS/SOSA hardware as needed. For example, a SAVE enclosure can today be populated with two individual 4-slot PacStar 400-Series Smart Chassis hosting 400-Series network and communications modules, or the enclosure can be populated with a combination of one 4-slot PacStar 400-Series Smart Chassis and one 5-slot PacStar VPX Smart Chassis. Later, as CMOSS/SOSA VPX equivalents become more readily available, both halves of the SAVE enclosure can be populated with PacStar VPX Smart Chassis. Whether on current ground vehicles, air frames, or platforms of the future, this approach also enables each chassis in the SAVE enclosure to support separate networked security enclaves.

What’s more, Curtiss-Wright MOSA solutions, including CMOSS/SOSA aligned OpenVPX hardware, can be supported with PacStar IQ-Core Software, a comprehensive management software application designed for secure, tactical, and distributed network management. This single-pane-of-glass software is ideal for managing wide area networks (WAN), edge devices, and CMOSS systems, especially in disconnected, intermittent, and limited (DIL) environments – providing a comprehensive tactical infrastructure view that enables the U.S. Army’s Data-Centric vision.

“U.S. Army leadership is seeking a physical architecture for rapidly and cost-effectively deploying MOSA solutions and is increasingly turning to rugged MOSA-based hardware standards, such as CMOSS and SOSA, to speed communications and processing capabilities at the tactical edge while meeting performance and environmental requirements,” said Chris Wiltsey, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions division. “Our new PacStar VPX Smart Chassis represents a breakthrough solution that complements tactical communications and CMFF missions. It enables our customers to leverage the advanced CMOSS/SOSA aligned technologies – for which Curtiss-Wright is a recognized industry-leading supplier – and deploy them alongside our latest PacStar tactical communications technologies at the tactical edge. This approach delivers a significant cost savings to the system integrator as they migrate to CMOSS, while also reducing program risk for the DoD.”

About the PacStar Smart VPX Chassis

The PacStar Smart VPX Chassis provides the highest level of SOSA alignment available today. Its 5 slots support SOSA Technical Standard 1.0 profiles, including but not limited to the following:

  • 3U Radial Clock PICP: SLT3x-TIM-2S1U22S1U2U1H-14.9.2-n
  • I/O-Intensive SBC: SLT3-PAY-1F1F2U1TU1T1U1T-14.2.16
  • 3U Data / Control Plane Switch PICP: SLT3-SWH-6F1U7U-14.4.14
  • I/O-Intensive SBC: SLT3-PAY-1F1F2U1TU1T1U1T-14.2.16
  • 3U Payload PICPs: SLT3-PAY-1F1U1S1S1U1U2F1H-14.6.11-n

Ensuring flexibility for future systems upgrades is key to the design of the PacStar Smart VPX chassis.

Glide Path to SOSA

With its ability to host five OpenVPX modules and a range of SOSA system profiles, the PacStar VPX Smart Chassis provides system designers with a means for deploying Curtiss-Wright’s extensive library of SOSA aligned 3U OpenVPX hardware, either standalone or alongside PacStar 400-Series tactical communications hardware providing a complementary solution. 

Built Rugged for Operation at the Tactical Edge

Designed from the ground up for tactical deployments in the most austere environments, and extensively tested to MIL-STD-810/461 by independent labs (reports available on request), the PacStar VPX Smart Chassis has an operational temperature range of -20C to +60C. It features a sealed electronics cavity with dual externally mounted waterproof fans for operation in high thermal environments and supports 300W in a single chassis or 600W as a pair of chassis mounted in a SAVE enclosure.  

The PacStar VPX Smart Chassis seamlessly integrates with the rest of the PacStar 400-series ecosystem for integration into Curtiss-Wright’s wide array of carry-on, transit-case, rack, and vehicle mounts. The chassis can be deployed standalone, in SAVE frames, 19” racks, and other vehicle enclosure and person-carry applications.

The PacStar IQ-Core Advantage

PacStar IQ-Core Software is the industry’s leading integrated, network communications management software for the military, federal, state/local government and emergency responder markets. It provides secure, command, control and communications systems, particularly in remote or infrastructure starved areas, while reducing network misconfiguration, improving uptime, simplifying troubleshooting, and providing cyber situational awareness to tactical networks. IQ-Core Software features an intuitive and integrated single pane-of-glass user interface that makes system setup and operation quick, easy to learn and recall. 

To download the PacStar VPX Smart Chassis product sheet click here.

For additional information about Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions products, please visit www.curtisswrightds.comLinkedIn, and Twitter @CurtissWrightDS.

About Curtiss-Wright Corporation

Curtiss-Wright Corporation (NYSE:CW) is a global integrated business that provides highly engineered products, solutions and services mainly to Aerospace & Defense markets, as well as critical technologies in demanding Commercial Power, Process and Industrial markets. Headquartered in Davidson, North Carolina, the company leverages a workforce of 8,000 highly skilled employees who develop, design and build what we believe are the best engineered solutions to the markets we serve. Building on the heritage of Glenn Curtiss and the Wright brothers, Curtiss-Wright has a long tradition of providing innovative solutions through trusted customer relationships. For more information, visit


Note: Trademarks are property of their respective owners.