Navy chooses secure data transfer units from Physical Optics for carrier-based combat jets

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J., 5 Aug. 2014. U.S. Navy air warfare experts needed encrypted data transfer units for the carrier-based F/A-18E/F fighter-bombers and EA-18G electronic warfare jets. They found their solution from Physical Optics Corp. in Torrance, Calif.

Officials of the The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division-Lakehurst at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., awarded a $10.4 million contract to Physical Optics on Monday to build data transfer units and ground encryption devices in support of the F/A-18 E/F and EA-18G aircraft.

The Physical Optics Data Transfer System (DTS) is for moving mission data securely to and from the aircraft, much like an external computer disk. It supports NSA-approved Type-1 encryption, and contains four Gigabit Ethernet ports that operate at 500 megabits per second per channel.

Related: Ethernet data-transfer unit serves as mission-load device for UAVs

These units serve as the transportable storage medium for -pre- and post-mission information exchanges between the mission planning system, maintenance ground station, and the aircraft. The system uses three independent removable memory units (RMUs) for data storage with a capacity of 128 gigabytes each, expandable to 512 gigabytes.

The RMUs can be inserted to any slot, the appropriate channel. The DTS also has zeroization functionality for all RMUs as well as internal nonvolatile memory. The DTS has built-in-test (BIT) capability to isolate and detect 95 percent of internal failures through SBIT, PBIT, IBIT, MBIT functions.

The unit operates on 28 volts and uses less than 40 Watts of power, meets MIL-STD-810, measures 9 by 5 by 3 inches, weighs 6.5 pounds, and can operate for about 5,700 hours between failures, company officials say.

Related: Driving the demand for data storage

The contract calls for Physical Optics to provide 14 non flight-worthy (NFW) data transfer units, seven flight-worthy (FW) DTUs, 21 mission NFW removable memory devices, 25 NFW maintenance RMDs, 17 FW mission RMDs, 15 FW maintenance RMDs, nine ground encryption devices, cabling, and software.

On this contract Physical Optics will do the work in Torrance, Calif., and should be finished by December 2015. For more information contact Physical Optics Corp. online at, or the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division-Lakehurst at

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