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Curtiss-Wright to Provide Avionics Computer for Navy MQ-4C Unmanned Patrol Plane in $7.5 Million Contract

July 20, 2021

Published in Military & Aerospace Electronics
Written by John Keller

Avionics computer experts at Curtiss-Wright Corp. will provide the U.S. Navy with an onboard advanced mission management system for the MQ-4C maritime patrol unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) under terms of a $7.5 million sole-source contract announced Friday.

Officials of the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency's Aviation activity in Philadelphia are asking the Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions division in Santa Clarita, Calif., to provide the mission management system for the Navy Northrop Grumman MQ-4C broad-area maritime surveillance (BAMS) UAV.

The Curtiss-Wright advanced mission management system (AMMS) provides the MQ-4C surveillance UAV with network-centric mission computer, data collection, and data correlation while incorporating support for Red/Black separation information security.

The AMMS has a new and improved high-speed interface embedded computing suite for high processing requirements, and a modular and scalable network-centric architecture, Curtiss-Wright officials say.

AMMS is an open-systems VPX-based system with internal volatile data storage, new DIO subsystem and discipline rubidium oscillator module, VPX-based embedded computing modules, and Gigabit Ethernet switches.

The MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft flies maritime surveillance missions as long as 24 hours at altitudes of more than 10 miles to enable coverage out to 2,000 nautical miles. The UAV's suite of sensors can detect and classify different types of ships automatically.

Curtiss-Wright won a $25 million contract from Northrop Grumman a decade ago to provide AMNS mission-management systems for the MQ-4C, and have been providing these kinds of avionics subsystems for the Triton UAV ever since.

The Triton is a crucial component of the Navy's 21st century strategy for conducting surveillance of surface ship and submarine traffic in the vast Pacific and other oceans around the globe. The Triton UAV will work together with the Navy's P-8A Poseidon manned maritime patrol aircraft.

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