Military Embedded Systems

HALE upgrade program to use Curtiss-Wright subsystems


May 19, 2014

John McHale

Editorial Director

Military Embedded Systems

HALE upgrade program to use Curtiss-Wright subsystems

ORLANDO, FL. – May 14, 2014 – Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions won a contract from Northrop Grumman to deliver the integrated mission management computer (IMMC) for use in Northrop Grumman's High Altitude, Long Endurance (HALE) Enterprise IMMC upgrade program. Curtiss-Wright made the announcement at the AUVSI Unmanned Systems Show in Orlando, FL last week.

The HALE Enterprise upgrade designates a new baseline architecture for HALE unmanned aircraft system (UAS) platforms to cut down maintenance and inventory costs, ease ongoing obsolescence management, and increase operational availability for Global Hawk platform derivatives, including the Air Force Block 40, Air Force Block 20/30, USN Triton, and NATO AGS. The dual redundant architecture IMMC brings fault tolerant flight control for the Global Hawk UAS and interfaces with all necessary sensors to enable safe aircraft flight within mission requirements.

Curtiss-Wright engineers are providing two onboard flight subsystems -- the Integrated Mission Management Computer (IMMC), which controls the aircraft’s flight, and the Advanced Mission Management System (AMMS), which communicates with the onboard sensors, and relays information back to the ground station.

The company also supplied Northrop Grumman with the two integrated main mission management computers that essentially act as the “brain” of the Global Hawk aircraft. Curtiss-Wright also provides the Sensor Management Unit (SMU) that communicates with the onboard sensors and was the predecessor to the Triton AMMS system on the Global Hawk.

Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions division engineers will manufacture these products at the company's Santa Clarita, Calif., facility. The products will then be shipped to a Northrop Grumman facility in Rancho Bernardo, Calif. Work on this program is expected to continue through the end of this calendar year.

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