Boeing to procure final 51 mission computer systems for EA-18G electronic warfare (EW) aircraft avionics

Sept. 21, 2022
The AMC Type 4, which first was flight tested in 2012, increases computing power and accelerates the Growler's image and mission processing functions.

PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md. – Military avionics experts at the Boeing Co. will provide the final 51 Advanced Mission Computer (AMC) retrofit kits for the U.S. Navy EA-18G Growler electronic warfare (EW) aircraft under terms of a $51.7 million contract announced Monday.

Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., are asking the Boeing Defense, Space & Security segment in St. Louis to provide 51 AMC systems, which are designed and manufactured by the General Dynamics Corp. Mission Systems segment in Bloomington, Minn.

The contract calls for Boeing to procure 49 AMC kits for EA-18G aircraft and two kits for software integration labs.

The latest version of the F/A-18 mission computer is the AMC Type 4, which first was flight tested in 2012. Type 4 AMC increases computing power and accelerates image and mission processing functions, Boeing officials say.

Related: General Dynamics to add fourth processor in upgrade to Super Hornet and Growler avionics mission computers

Those advances will support new systems and future systems aboard the aircraft, including a distributed targeting system, infrared search and track, and a new high-definition touch-screen display.

The AMC is the nerve center of the Navy Super Hornet. The commercial off-the-shelf (COTS)-based, open-systems architecture product is configurable to many operating environments.

The flight and mission computer is designed to handle mission processing; sensor processing; display processing; stores management; and information management.

The AMC is a rugged avionics embedded computer that performs general-purpose, I/O, video, voice, and graphics processing. Communication is over several buses, including 1553, Fibre Optic Fibre Channel, and Local PCI.

Related: Air Force starts installing EPAWSS advanced electronic warfare (EW) avionics aboard F-15E combat aircraft

Single-board computers and other modules in the AMC fit in an industry standard 6U VME backplane, and the I/O configuration may be tailored with PCI mezzanine card (PMC) modules. An Ethernet interface supports software development and system maintenance.

The AMC's core system software (CSS) is a real-time operating system with embedded system software, application program interface, and diagnostic software set for the AMC. The computer's I/O includes MIL-STD-1553 drivers, Fibre Channel drivers, VMEbus drivers, and discrete and serial I/O drivers.

On this contract Boeing and its partners will do the work in Bloomington, Minn.; St. Louis; and Linthicum Heights, Md., should be finished by September 2025. For more information contact Boeing Defense, Space & Security online at, General Dynamics Mission Systems 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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