The past year has been one of GRiD’s busiest in its 30 year history with a number of new orders, product launches and deliveries being made to our global customers. In this final blog of 2022, we take a look back at the year and some of our main achievements, as well as some of the challenges that have been faced in the defence industry and how we’ve looked to address them.
This year we were delighted that a number of prime contractors, as well as governments, around the world chose GRiD as the supplier of ruggedised computer solutions for some of their key defence programmes. While many we cannot disclose, there were some that we could make public.
In May we announced that BAE Systems had selected our GRiDCASE 1513 rugged 13.3” laptop for a major UK Ministry of Defence programme called FALCON. The GRiDCASE 1513 will be used as part of a secure deployable broadband voice, data and video communications system that will enter service with the British Army and Royal Air Force.
This year also saw the Brazilian Army select our GRiDCASE 2530 10.1” rugged tablet for its Guarani 6×6 vehicle programme. The tablets – which are designed and built to withstand the harsh environments that military vehicles experience – will be used by soldiers to access the various systems that are on board the vehicles.
In November we also introduced a new product, the GRiDCASE 3560 rugged processor. Designed specifically for a major NATO programme, the GRiDCASE 3560 offers a significant upgrade over legacy systems but is able to seamlessly integrate into older platforms thanks to its high levels of configurability.
As well as new orders and products, we also took a detailed look at how we work alongside customers to deliver bespoke solutions that meet demanding end user requirements. We highlighted our work with the US Department of Defense, supplying our GRiDCASE 1590 15” laptop for the Guided Missile Launcher Test Set (GMLTS) system, which is used to test the AGM-88 High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM).
In another case study, we looked at our highly productive partnership with CGI – a large IT and consulting firm – to which we have supplied our GRiDCASE 2515 and 2530 for a number of small boat programmes. The tablets are fitted within a console and meet a number of demanding military standards – including MIL-STD 810 and DEF STAN 00-35 – that make them ideal for waterborne operations.
With technology advancing so rapidly, the processing capabilities available now are far superior to the technology that platforms used when they first entered service. That presents integrators with a challenge – how can they upgrade legacy vehicles to meet the digital demands of the modern battlefield, in a time-efficient and cost-effective way?
The GRiDCASE 3560 meets this challenge head on, offering a box-on, box-off approach that can be easily adapted to any vehicle. The new processor has flexibility at its core, with D38999 connectors that can be adapted to any vehicle, installation points and electronic architecture. GRiD can tailor the processor for legacy platforms and modern vehicles, with the ability to change the connectors as needed, as well as the interfaces on the connectors.
This means the GRiDCASE 3560 can meet the needs of any land vehicle, as well as aircraft and naval platforms, without the need for a separate junction box or console.
The system builds on GRiD’s rich history in developing rugged computers tailored specifically for the military market. Originally developed for a major land vehicle project for a NATO country, the GRiDCASE 3560 features an Intel® Core processor (i3, i5 or i7), up to 64GB of RAM, and can support two external displays.
Designed for extremely demanding environments, it meets DEF STAN 00-35 and MIL-STD-810 environmental standards, along with EMC profiles of DEF STAN 59-411 and MIL-STD-461. As with all of GRiD’s products, it is designed from the ground up with these standards in mind, along with TEMPEST SDIP-27.
Overcoming Market Challenges
This year presented many challenges for businesses, particularly those in the electronics space that felt the impact of supply chain issues. Like many other industries, the defence industry has been impacted by the supply chain crisis with parts shortages affecting programme delivery.
In our August blog, we explored the need for robust supply chain management in these challenging times and how as an original equipment manufacturer, GRiD has been able to mitigate these risks. Unlike re-sellers of imported equipment, we are in complete control of our supply chain and have Full Configuration Control of our portfolio, which means we can redesign products to meet component availability.
Of course it’s also important to be flexible and understand that different customers have different requirements. Many militaries still use legacy connectors and interfaces, owing to the age of platforms, which means that upgraded computer systems still have to be able to connect into older platform architectures and meet strict safety and security standards.
This is one reason why many military programmes still rely on the ubiquitous D38999 connector, a workhorse of military electronics for a number of decades and a proven piece of rugged technology. We took a closer look at the military connector in our blog here.
There is also a growing interest in what’s known as ‘box-on, box-off’, an engineering solution that is saving militaries both time and money when it comes to upgrading platform electronics and addressing obsolescence. Our blog found out more about how GRiD is a dedicated provider of box-on, box-off solutions that are now being rolled out to customers.
In light of the ongoing threats that our military forces face, we also explored how military requirements continue to seek out the best solutions when it comes to reliability, performance and security. The latter being particularly important, we looked at this in our blog on secure encrypted solutions and the need to ensure that data at rest on a military computer cannot be compromised in any way.
In a similar vein, we also examined the need to ensure electronics are protected against inadvertent transmission of radiofrequency signals that could lead to adversaries collecting classified information. The US and NATO use standards known as TEMPEST to ensure that this does not happen, and GRiD is one of only a few computer suppliers that have experience in meeting these demanding requirements.
Looking forward to 2023
GRiD is looking forward to working with our valued customers once again next year and delivering market-leading rugged computer solutions that address the complex operational challenges that our forces face. Our expert team will be on hand to provide expert guidance every step of the way, from initial requirement to product delivery.
We are looking forward to announcing more contract wins, releasing additional Case Studies of exiting projects we are supporting and there may even be some new product releases!
We are always here to support you so please get in touch on +44 (0)1628 810 230 or drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you in 2023!