Navy looks to Aitech for embedded computing boards on LCAC amphibious landing craft

PANAMA CITY, Fla., 30 Jan. 2013. U.S. Navy landing craft designers needed rugged single-board computers and other embedded computing components for command, control, communications, computers, and navigation (C4N) equipment aboard the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) amphibious assault vessel. They found their solution from Aitech Defense Systems Inc. in Chatsworth, Calif.

Officials of the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) in Panama City, Fla., announced their intention Monday to award Aitech a sole-source contract for as many as 275 processor boards, dual-head graphics controllers, and multi-purpose A/D and D/A converter boards for the LCAC C4N equipment.

The value of the upcoming contract has yet to be negotiated. The Navy is awarding a sole-source contract to Aitech because the necessary components are available only from Aitech, Navy officials say.

The deal is to be a follow-on contract for continued production of highly specialized equipment, when it is likely that award to any other source would result in substantial duplication of cost to the government, Navy officials say.

The Aitech processor boards, dual-head graphics controllers, and multi-purpose A/D and D/A converter boards for the LCAC C4N have been tested and evaluated against the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) technical requirements as provided on the LCAC C4N system specifications during prototyping and evaluation, and no products from competing suppliers would be appropriate, officials say.

Navy experts say they expect to award a firm-fixed-price commercial contact to Aitech for as many as 65 processor boards, 110 dual-head graphics controllers, and 100 multi-purpose A/D and D/A converter boards.

The LCAC is designed to move weapons, armored combat vehicles, equipment, cargo, infantry, and other military personnel to invasion beaches from amphibious assault ships offshore.

The specialized landing craft skims across the surface of the ocean on an air cushion, and can move at speeds faster than 40 knots. The entire hull rides about four feet above the surface.

The LCAC C4N system uses an open-architecture design to accommodate commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components, and includes modern, high-power P-80 radar systems, precision navigation system, and communications systems.

Aitech designs and manufactures rugged commercial and military embedded computing for defense and space programs. The company was among the pioneers of conduction-cooled mil-spec VMEbus boards, and has provided COTS VMEbus and CompactPCI boards, mezzanine cards, power supplies, enclosures, and integrated computer subsystems.

For more information contact Aitech online at www.rugged.com, or the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division at www.navsea.navy.mil/nswc/panamacity.

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