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Navy Wants More GD Super Computers

by Matt Cox on March 14, 2013

The U.S. Navy has awarded a $19.3 million contract to General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems to produce Type-3 advanced mission computers for the F/A-18E/F and E/A-18G Super Hornet aircraft.

These special computers act as the nerve center of the Super Hornet, providing situational awareness and combat systems control to the flight crew, GD officials maintain. General Dynamics has delivered F/A-18 advanced mission computers since 2002.

They’re ruggedized, highly-reliable systems that can process high-speed data flows from the latest sensor technologies, GD officials maintain. The system performs general purpose, input/output, video, voice and graphics processing, and it is designed to operate in the extreme environmental conditions of today’s high-performance fighter aircraft.

“Last year we hit a major milestone with the delivery of the 1,500th advanced mission computer to the U.S. Navy in support of the Super Hornet program,” said Lou Von Thaer, president of General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems. “Our long-standing commitment to outfitting this world-class aircraft with our open architecture has provided the Navy with the ability to cost-effectively address obsolescence, increase flexibility and strengthen performance capabilities.”

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

blight_ March 14, 2013 at 5:18 pm
tee March 14, 2013 at 5:51 pm

Good Going Navy !


Belesari March 14, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Wait reliable and rugged?!

Cancel this at once and build something less reliable and that cost 200 mil dollars a unit!


Restore Palestine March 14, 2013 at 7:38 pm

and then another 200 million to fix it. That will help generate jobs.

good business thinking. Obama will love this idea.


Restore Palestine March 14, 2013 at 7:28 pm

I guess it's time for GD to outsource some engineering and R&D jobs to India, Russia, and China, or else the navy will have to wait 10-20 years and spend a few hundred billion to get something like the F-22 and the F-35. HaHa.


romeo March 15, 2013 at 7:05 am

Where else would they outsource them?
Our society don't believe in math and science.
But of course, we are going to complain why we outsource all of our jobs.
Go figure.


blight_ March 15, 2013 at 11:04 am

"Our society don't believe in math and science. "

I wonder why. Maybe it's because our societies heroes are politicians, Hollywood, and businessmen (spanning VC founders, dotcom gajillionaires, hedge fund managers and Wall St). If you're an applied math guy you either publish proofs or go work as a quant in (voila!) Wall Street.

If you're in the physical or life sciences, you write grants nonstop for a diminishing pile of seed money or go work for industry as a skilled cog until your research facility in New Jersey closes for cheaper pastures (Merck, I'm looking at you…!)

And if you code, you watch as your job market gets tighter and tighter. If you work in HPC; you watch as your jobs get outsourced (witness Royal Bank of Scotland's bank failure, due to overseas IT borking a firmware update).

I think Ayn Rand would have a field day.

What if John Galt's job was outsourced to India?


Steve B. March 14, 2013 at 8:03 pm

Wait !, $19 million ?. So they're buying like one ?.


Duke March 15, 2013 at 10:04 am

I read that as "Navy Wants More God Damn Super Computers"


wlo March 15, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Great! This will give the Chinese something more to hack into.


blight_ March 15, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Sure, like every Advanced Mission computer is connected to the Series of Tubes In the Air…/sarc

On the ground, when they are in maintenance and plugged into something with Ethernet you have bigger fish to fry.


Charley A March 15, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Type 3 AMC are the older version, so I guess these are replacements for in service aircraft? Maybe type 4 AMC are not ready yet.


khushi March 18, 2013 at 7:02 am

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TonyC March 18, 2013 at 7:04 am

The US Navy will be using the F-18E/F/G for a long time, so upgrades are important to keep the fleet as capable as possible. Too bad upgrading to the AESA is cost prohibitive, but the APG-63/71 are very capable RADARS. They are noisey and give awy the position of the F-18 to the enemy too easily. The newer block aircraft all have the AESA, so a mix of older and newer aircraft could perform the mission with the AESA as primary and the older aircraft linked to the newer ones.


DJaeger March 19, 2013 at 3:01 pm

F-18s with a legacy RADAR would be APG-65 or APG-73. AESA would not fit in a legacy F-18C/D/A++.Anyway.


BlackOwl18E March 20, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Guess what guys? Today the USN admitted that they are seriously considering adding the conformal fuel tanks to the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.

Link: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/us-navy

What I find funny is the fact that they said the conformal tanks might cause a decrease in aerodynamic performance for the Super Hornet and that they may need to buy the EPE engines with a 20% increase in thrust to compensate for it. Sounds like they are looking for excuses to buy the other upgrades too. Boeing better be smart about this and start independently funding the development for these immediately so it's as easy on the USN as possible. The USN is going to have a hard time as it is trying to pull funding away from the F-35 black hole to get this done.

Was I right or what?


blight_ March 15, 2013 at 11:05 am

They may come back if we can arrest the costs.



Praetorian March 15, 2013 at 11:53 am
tee March 15, 2013 at 2:40 pm

From "Defense-Aerospace" "Denmark: Second JSF Partner Country Begins New Fighter Evaluation". The Death Spiral Begins, after all the Reports released since Jan.
. http://www.defense-aerospace.com/article-view/rel


BlackOwl18E March 18, 2013 at 8:57 am

Singapore hasn't bought anything or signed anything yet. The US is lobbying them to buy the F-35 so we don't lose orders, but everything is still up in the air. One thing that we do know for certain is that they want more F-15SGs to their number.


blight_ May 5, 2013 at 12:25 pm

The S&T side has it differently from the E. Engineers tend to do better than scientists. My parent are both engineers: one did well during the Cold War working for aerospace, got burned as part of the peace dividend and switched to a different work sector. The other was a chemical engineer who worked in pharma until starting a business.

As for me, I'm a graduate student now in the S&T. My options are to pursue government dollars as an academic researcher or to work in industry, or just get out and work application development in HPC. My wet-lab counterparts pretty much are going to industry or a post-doc for academic research, but most are destined to academic research.

As Americans, the long term job security is not there. IT companies are pushing for more H1B slots to displace more American IT workers. Grad students from overseas and stay here to work as postdocs on J1 or H1 visas, then compete for academic research positions here. It isn't a pretty picture for the science incubator that is the American university system.


bmart. May 5, 2013 at 4:37 pm

I admittedly was not too aware of the issue of academic research positions being taken from American grads by others from overseas. What would you say that the reasoning for the increase in H1B-type employment in the S&T community. Would you say that is is purely financially-inspired or do you think there might be other reasons as well?

And please note, since I know that it is hard to tell over the internet, I am genuinely curious and not trying to challenge what you are saying.


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