Defensive Aids Sub-System (DASS) Eurofighter Typhoon
Eurofighter Typhoon is the world’s most advanced multi-role combat aircraft, capable of operating from hastily prepared bases and small runways around the globe. The aircraft’s ability to deliver air dominance beyond visual range and in close combat – and high sortie rates in all weathers – is made possible by the unprecedented use of integrated flight control and avionics systems supporting the pilot.
Eurofighter is being developed by four partner nations: Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. An overall production contract for 620 Eurofighter aircraft was signed in January 1998. Production is being carried out in three tranches between 2001 and 2014.
However, such is the pace of change in the world of commercial silicon that, still within its development phase, the program faced the challenge of inserting a new generation of technology into the electronic warfare suite of DASS - one of the aircraft’s key sub-systems.
BAE Systems turned to us to replace the existing General Purpose Processor (GPP) based on Motorola 68020 technology. The new GPP is a customized form factor derived from our successful VMEbus PowerPC family, already in service in a variety of US and European defense applications.
We won the initial development contract following a stringent international bid process which called for extremely aggressive timescales. We delivered the first board in just six months. Our experience in the military COTS market enabled us to provide a ruggedized, high performance solution for the demanding operational environment of Eurofighter in such a short timescale.
Among the first Commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) computer modules to be integrated into Tranche 1 of the Eurofighter program, the Abaco Systems technology insertion model will enable future DASS performance improvements to be implemented with minimal software modification and risk, enabling seamless system upgrades to be implemented during the aircraft’s service life. Five of our boards now lie at the heart of each Eurofighter DASS.