Northrop producing next-generation mission computers for USMC helos

The newest FlightPro mission computer from Northrop Grumman is entering low-rate production for testing on U.S. Marine Corps helicopters.
By Richard Tomkins  |  April 24, 2014 at 2:18 PM
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WOODLAND HILLS, Calif., April 24 (UPI) -- Northrop Grumman is to begin low-rate initial production of its FlightPro Gen III mission computers to support U.S. Marine Corps helicopters.

The systems will be produced under a $10.6 million contract from the U.S. Navy and will be used for UH-1 flight tests, system integration laboratories and training.

"Our enhanced FlightPro Gen III mission computer is the most capable general purpose mission computer on the market, offering unmatched performance, affordability and flexibility," said Ike Song, vice president, Situational Awareness Systems business unit, Northrop Grumman. "The computer's fast, efficient processing will improve situational awareness and lighten warfighters' workloads, in addition to allowing rapid insertion of emerging capabilities."

FlightPro integrates mission, weapons and video processing capabilities into a conduction-cooled, high-performance airborne computer. Gen III features new computing technology in multiple partitioned, 8-core PowerPC-based processors. It leverages commercial off-the-shelf technology and can be configured for different system requirements.

The U.S. Marine Corps currently uses FlightPro Gen II mission computers on UH 1Y Venom and AH 1Z Viper aircraft but plans to switch to Gen III.

The actual number of the mission computers to be produced under the contract and their delivery schedule were not disclosed.

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