Navy chooses Fibre channel network switches from L3Harris for military aircraft switch fabric avionics

Oct. 9, 2019
Fibre Channel high-speed data transfer protocol runs at 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and 128 gigabits per second for in-order lossless delivery of raw block data.

PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md. – U.S. Navy avionics experts needed Fibre Channel network switches for high-speed switch fabric embedded computing aboard jet fighter and surveillance aircraft. They found their solution from L3Harris Technologies Inc. in Palm Bay, Fla.

Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., announced a $10.1 million order to L3Harris last week for 114 Fibre Channel network switches for the Navy and government of Kuwait.

These Fibre Channel network switches are for EA-18G electronic warfare (EW) jets, F/A-18E/F jet fighter-bombers, and E-2D carrier-based radar surveillance aircraft.

The order includes two units for the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division’s Manned Flight Simulator Laboratory.

Related: Fibre Channel standards get boost from two industry groups

Fibre Channel is a high-speed data transfer protocol that typically runs at 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and 128 gigabits per second. It provides in-order lossless delivery of raw block data.

Fibre Channel networks form a switch fabric because they operate together as one switch. Fibre Channel typically runs over optical fiber, but also can run on copper cabling.

Fibre Channel is a legacy high-speed data networking approach that became popular around the year 2000, and today largely has given way to a variety of Gigabit Ethernet implementations. Fibre Channel has been part of the EA-18G, F/A-18E/F, and E-2D avionics architectures for many years.

On this order L3Harris will do the work in Malabar, Fla., and should be finished by December 2021. For more information contact L3Harris online at, or Naval Air Systems Command at

About the Author

John Keller | Editor-in-Chief

John Keller is the Editor-in-Chief, Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine--provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronics and optoelectronic technologies in military, space and commercial aviation applications. John has been a member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since 1989 and chief editor since 1995.

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