GE Intelligent Platforms will be supplying a quantity of specially-modified VR12 single board computers to Argon ST of Fairfax, Virginia for deployment in the company’s Ships Signal Exploitation Equipment (SSEE) system.
With the initial order valued at just over $1 million, GE expects further orders totalling $5 million in the coming years.
GE’s VR12 single board computer is a rugged 6U VME platform featuring the Intel Core i7 processor and will play a key role in data acquisition as part of a shipboard signals intelligence (SIGINT) subsystem.
Argon chose the VR12 single board computers for their high performance, cost-effectiveness and GE’s ability to deliver to Argon’s specific requirements in a timely manner.
While GE’s long term technology insertion roadmap for the VR12 single board computers assures Argon of straightforward, inexpensive upgrades in the future, GE’s long term support programs, including the innovative Product Lifecycle Management program recognises the often multi-decade nature of military program deployment.
According to Jay Swenson, Director, Business Development, GE Intelligent Platforms, companies in the defence industry, constrained by budgets are looking to drive risk to the absolute minimum by choosing modified COTS solutions rather than solutions developed in-house.
He adds that these COTS solutions are being acquired from suppliers like GE who have the stability and maturity necessary to ensure long term availability and support.
The Ships Signal Exploitation Equipment or SSEE allows operators to monitor and analyse signals of interest within the Ship's Signals Exploitation Space (SSES) aboard a variety of ship classes.
Key advantages of COTS hardware and software in SSEE systems:
- Allows incremental upgrades to hardware to be integrated, tested and fielded in a shorter time than traditional development efforts
- System can evolve and adapt quickly in order to exploit new threat emergent technology
- Allows the Navy to take full advantage of state-of-the-art technology being used in the commercial market
- Use of COTS hardware common with other systems also allows more economical procurement of hardware and spares