L-3 picks hard disk for maritime surveillance plane

MOORESTOWN, N.J., 26 Jan. 2006. Formation, Inc. announced today that its ToughDisk 7204 Rugged Hard Disk has been selected by the Communication Systems-East (CS-East) division of L-3 Communications to provide rugged data storage for its suite of high performance, magnetic disk storage systems for Boeing's P-8A Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA) program.

MOORESTOWN, N.J., 26 Jan. 2006. Formation, Inc. announced today that its ToughDisk 7204 Rugged Hard Disk has been selected by the Communication Systems-East (CS-East) division of L-3 Communications to provide rugged data storage for its suite of high performance, magnetic disk storage systems for Boeing's P-8A Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA) program.

The P-8A program will replace the U.S. Navy's fleet of P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft with next generation maritime surveillance aircraft.

As part of the P-8A system development and demonstration phase, L-3 CS- East will provide the acoustic data recorder, digital video recorder and network system storage from its Strategic/Tactical Airborne Recorder (S/TAR) product line. Formation is under contract to CS-E to modify its off the shelf ToughDisk product to meet specific program requirements. This new product variant, known as HiPERDisk (High Performance Environmentally Rugged Disk) is L-3 CS-E's latest innovation in removable magnetic disk media for their S/TAR product line.

The P-8A, a militarized version of the Boeing 737-800, brings together a highly reliable airframe with a state-of-the-art open architecture mission system. This combination, coupled with next-generation sensors will dramatically improve anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and armed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.

Current plans call for the U.S. Navy to procure 108 P-8As to replace the fleet of P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft. Additionally, several potential international customers have indicated their interest in this new aircraft.

"Formation has the expertise to provide high quality rugged disk drives for our suite of high performance disk recorders," said Dave Micha, director of the S/TAR Product Line at L-3 Communication Systems - East. "We selected a partner who could provide us with a reliable rugged data storage solution able to withstand the harsh environmental conditions found aboard military aircraft. We chose ToughDisk because it can handle vibration and shock, as well as the extreme high and low temperatures in this environment."

ToughDisk rugged hard disks are high-performance, removable data storage units built specifically to withstand extreme temperature, shock, vibration, humidity and dust conditions. The TD7204 is a 480 gigabyte, hot-swappable, self-contained mass memory unit with four Serial ATA (SATA) interfaces. In addition to the TD7204, Formation also offers the TD3500, a rugged drop-in replacement for standard 3.5-inch low profile disk drives with 73 or 100 gigabyte capacity and SCSI or ATA interfaces.

"We are excited about the opportunity to participate in this critical defense program," said R. Nim Evatt, Formation's CEO and president. "This is another demonstration of a major defense contractor's confidence in Formation's ability to deliver reliable, high-quality products for a long-term defense program. Formation's ToughDisk rugged data storage solutions have been selected for submarine, shipboard and airborne defense applications because of their significant cost and capacity advantages over solid state storage."

Formation, Inc. provides a broad range of products and services to the aerospace, data communications, defense and transportation industries, including ruggedized disk packaging, avionics class disk-based video-on-demand and fileservers, and an avionics class Ethernet networking applications device. Formation also provides fully synchronized record and replay systems for air traffic control and defense and intelligence-related command & control communications. For more information, see www.formation.com.

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