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Curtiss-Wright Controls Unveils New Family of Affordable, Highly Available, High Performance Subsystems for Military Ground Vehicles

New Class of MOSA-Compliant, Rugged Packaged COTS Subsystems Addresses DoD Procurement Targets for High Technology Readiness/Off-the-Shelf Proven Hardware (November 07, 2011)

SAN DIEGO, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 11/07/11 -- Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing (CWCEC), a business group of Curtiss-Wright Controls and a leading designer and manufacturer of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products for the rugged, deployed defense and aerospace market, has announced the availability of a new class of affordable highly available, high performance distributed computing subsystems designed specifically to meet the U.S. military's current goals for increasing the use of low-cost open standards-based COTS electronics in Military Ground Vehicles.

First publicly described in a paper co-authored by Curtiss-Wright and Northrop Grumman Corporation that was presented at the 2011 Ground Vehicle Systems Engineering and Technology Symposium, Vehicle Electronics and Architecture (VEA) Mini-Symposium on August 9, 2011, Curtiss-Wright's family of Packaged COTS (PCOTS) Systems provide military system integrators with a Modular Open Standards Approach (MOSA)-compliant and scalable range of rugged systems designed to meet the open standards for the integration of C4ISR and related items of equipment on Army platforms being defined by the Vehicular Integration for C4ISR/EW Interoperability (VICTORY) working group.

"Curtiss-Wright is proud to have collaborated with Northrop Grumman on presenting our new concept for affordable rugged ground vehicle systems at the recent Ground Vehicle Systems Engineering and Technology Symposium," said Lynn Bamford, vice president and general manager of Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing. "Our family of PCOTS subsystems is designed to meet the DoD's new budgetary requirements for proven, rapidly deployable off-the-shelf processor solutions, without compromising performance, survivability or scalability."

"Curtiss-Wright's PCOTS systems provide Northrop Grumman with the versatility, scalability and high processor performance, along with the appropriate services for military programs, that we seek to satisfy the most demanding ground vehicle platforms," said Barry Press, chief engineer, Ground Combat Vehicle C4ISR, Northrop Grumman Information Systems sector.

High Technology Readiness Level (TRL), Proven Technology
In recent years, the U.S. military has instituted Technology Readiness Assessment (TRA), a metrics-based methodology for ascertaining the maturity and risk of critical technologies. The TRA determines a Technical Readiness Level (TRL) for any technology under development, with TRL 1 being the least mature and TRL 9 the most mature. A TRL 1 technology has the greatest risk, which can significantly raise a system design's development time and cost, while TRL 9, being the most mature technology, is the soonest to become obsolete. COTS vendors have a unique advantage that directly addresses these requirements. Mapping COTS products to the proper TRL level results in the intersection of classic technology readiness assessment and the realities of COTS product development. Curtiss-Wright currently fields TRL 6, 7 and 8 rated fully integrated, rugged Packaged COTS Systems (PCOTS).

About the PCOTS System Family
The U.S. Army's procurement strategy for processor subsystems now demands shorter equipment fielding times, delivering capabilities with clear military value that can be improved in low risk increments. Curtiss-Wright's PCOTS System family employs a new C4ISR infrastructure based on open standards. This computing and network infrastructure is scalable and qualified for the most stringent of ground combat environments. Based on open standards, PCOTS systems provide the benefits of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) capitalization surrounding the x86 architecture, and implements open standards including OpenVPX, POSIX, Gigabit Ethernet, the Object Management Group Data Distribution Service, and the Service Availability Forum. The Packaged COTS subsystems hardware is implemented as rugged chassis comprised of industry standard backplanes with fully integrated computing and I/O modules. The result is rapid availability for high technology readiness level equipment that delivers field-proven technology that will last the lifetime of a combat vehicle, and has a clear technology upgrade path when required.

PCOTS System Features:

  • Small, high performance x86 computers
  • Range of packaged solutions from 150 in(3) to 778 in(3) in volume and from 1 to 5 processing modules
  • IEEE 802-based, high capacity network infrastructure
  • Highly Reliable
  • Highly Available
  • PCOTS Computer modules are OpenVPX™ in a 3U form factor
  • Accommodates alternate 3U VPX modules to change system functionality (video processing, etc.)
  • PCOTS Switch solutions come in a variety of form factors including PMC, XMC, 3U OpenVPX™, 6U OpenVPX™ and stand-alone, platform ready subsystems.
  • Accommodates technology refresh with future 6U VPX Switch modules
  • Supports DMA controlled diagnostics utilities and tools.
  • Low latency high-speed application-to-application data transfers.
  • Computer and switch implementations use a patent pending cooling method to optimize thermal path from card to vehicle cold plate or atmosphere
  • Supports higher power COTS modules
  • Designed for reliable operation in harsh ground vehicle environments:
    • Operating Temp.: -40°C to +49°C
    • Storage Temp.: -46°C to +72°C
    • Humidity: +5 to +95% Induced
    • Altitude: 15,000 ft (Operating) 35,000 (Storage)
    • Shock: 40g, 11ms Sawtooth
    • Ballistic Shock: 50g, 10ms Half-Sinewave
    • MIL-STD-461F Compliant EMI/EMC
    • MIL-STD-810G Compliant Vibration, Shock, Altitude, Humidity, Salt, Fog, NBC, Fungus, Sand, & Dust

VICTORY is an effort to develop and validate a set of open standards for the integration of C4ISR and related items of equipment on Army platforms. The goals are to facilitate a decrease in SWaP requirements, technology transition, and evolutionary growth in capabilities. VICTORY standards will be developed in cooperation with the industry. It is intended that these standards to be used in a large number of future acquisition programs.

Request the Technology Readiness Level Roadmap
For a Technology Readiness Level Roadmap (TRL Roadmap) overview of Curtiss-Wright's PCOTS System Family and their TRL ratings, please contact Jacob Sealander
Chief Architect, Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Systems; email:

Request a copy of Curtiss-Wright and Northrop Grumman's co-authored paper Technology Readiness Roadmap
For a copy of the paper please click here.

Sales inquiries: Please forward all Sales and reader service inquiries to Jerri-Lynne Charbonneau, Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing, Tel: (613) 254-5112; Fax: (613) 599-7777; e-mail:

For editorial information regarding Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing products or services, contact John Wranovics, Director of Media Relations, Curtiss-Wright, Tel: (925) 640-6402; email: Web site:

About Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing
Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing is the industry's most comprehensive and experienced single source for embedded solutions, ranging from Processing, Subsystems, Data Communication, DSP, and Video & Graphics to the most advanced board level components and fully integrated custom systems. The Embedded Computing group serves the defense, aerospace, commercial and industrial markets and is part of Curtiss-Wright Controls Inc.

About Curtiss-Wright Controls, Inc.
Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Curtiss-Wright Controls is the motion control segment of Curtiss-Wright Corporation. With manufacturing facilities around the world, Curtiss-Wright Controls is a leading technology-based organization providing niche motion control products, subsystems and services internationally for the aerospace and defense markets. For more information, visit

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For a hi-res version of the Packaged COTS (PCOTS) press release photo, click here.

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Related Keywords: Packaged COTS Systems, MOSA-compliant, C4ISR, Military Ground Vehicles, Ground Vehicle Systems, USA, Marketwire, Inc., , Internet Technology, Engineering, Business, Military, Family,

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