Navy orders embedded computers and data converters from Aitech for LCAC landing vessels

Posted by John Keller

PANAMA CITY, Fla., 13 June 2013. U.S. Navy landing craft designers are looking to Aitech Defense Systems Inc. in Chatsworth, Calif. to provide 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.

Officials of the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) in Panama City, Fla., have announced a $577,665 contract to Aitech 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 Navy is awarding a sole-source contract to Aitech because the necessary components are available only from Aitech, Navy officials say. The order will consist of as many as 65 single-board computers, 110 dual-head graphics controllers, and 100 multi-purpose A/D and D/A converter boards.

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.

Navy officials awarded the contract to Aitech in late May after announcing their intention to make the order sole-source to Aitech last January.

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.

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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