Torrance CA June 8, 2015 – Physical Optics Corporation (POC) today announced it has received a follow-on Increment II production contract in the amount of $7.1 million from the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), Patuxent River, MD, for associated development, production and delivery of 31 Digital Data Set (DDS) Systems for the Navy’s T-45 trainer aircraft. Work begins in the Torrance, CA, facility immediately, and is to be completed by 5/31/17. With options for an additional 84 systems, the total contract value would exceed $18 million.
The DDS physically replaces three legacy systems on the T-45C aircraft into a single highly advanced system. Lieutenant Commander Jennifer Thomas of PMA-273 and the T-45C Mission System (MS) Integrated Product Team Lead (IPTL), indicated “the benefits of the DDS upgrade to the T-45C will enhance fleet training and long-term viability of the platform.” Lt. Cmdr. Thomas further emphasized the significance of this as the Navy plans to keep the aircraft in service until 2035.
In addition to a number of enhancements such as ED-112 Crash Survivable Memory Unit (CSMU), DDS combines the Airborne Data Recorder, Signal Data Computer, Advanced Signal Data Computer, Airborne Video Cassette Recorder, and the Mission Data Loader into a single digital footprint while improving safety, reliability and performance with added functionality. “This combination is of benefit to the Navy,” notes Rob Reed, T-45 MS Deputy IPTL for Legacy Systems. Mr. Reed goes on to explain, “DDS is operational and has accumulated over 900 flight hours in the fleet aircraft and provides significant improvement over legacy systems.”
Developed under the NAVAIR Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and now in production, “DDS is having a positive impact on fleet training and aircrew situational awareness in their training environment,” said U.S. Navy Captain Leon Bacon, Naval Undergraduate Flight Training Systems Program Office (PMA-273), the Program Office responsible for the T-45C aircraft and pilot training. “DDS is significant,” Capt. Bacon said, “not only for the long-term program dollar savings it can provide, but also in the functional capability that is critical to our ability to properly sustain the fleet.”