Physical Optics has secured a follow-on Increment II production contract from the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) for associated development, production, and delivery of 31 digital data set (DDS) systems for the US Navy’s T-45 trainer aircraft.
The DDS system is designed to replace three legacy systems on the T-45C aircraft with a single highly advanced system, in order to improve training and long-term viability of the platform.
According to T-45C mission system (MS) integrated product team lead (IPTL) lieutenant commander Jennifer Thomas, the navy will benefit from this system as it plans to keep the aircraft in service until 2035.
It will integrate the airborne data recorder, signal data computer, advanced signal data computer, airborne video cassette recorder, and the mission data loader into a single digital footprint.
US Naval Undergraduate Flight Training Systems Program Office (PMA-273) navy captain Leon Bacon said: "DDS is having a positive impact on fleet training and aircrew situational awareness in their training environment.
"DDS is significant not only for the long-term programme dollar savings it can provide, but also in the functional capability that is critical to our ability to properly sustain the fleet."
The system was developed under the Navair small business innovation research (SBIR) programme and currently undergoing production phase.
The $7.1m follow-on contract includes options for an additional 84 systems, which would bring the total value to $18m. Work under the deal will take place at the Physical Optics facility in Torrance, California, and is scheduled to be completed by May 2017.
Image: The US Navy’s Navy T-45 Aircraft. Photo: courtesy of Physical Optics Corporation.