The military’s budget has shrunk in recent years, forcing the defense industry to come up with spending solutions that allow them to improve their technology and equipment but not empty the military’s wallet.
So, to save money, the military has been updating and modernizing their current vehicles instead of purchasing new ones, equipping the old vehicles with new electronic information and command systems. The systems work in networks that allow for sharing within similar and neighboring platforms as well as combatants on the ground. The electronic architecture of these vehicle systems is known as vetronics (combining the words “vehicle” and “electronics”) and vetronics include navigation, observation, and communications systems, amongst others.
Vetronics greatly aid military personnel with their intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), but they also require high-performance, highly reliable connectors. These military connectors must be small in size but also support high bandwidth, modular I/O expansion, and scalable integration of subsystem functionality.
Vetronics applications are creating new opportunities for military connectors. Some of the vetronics applications most suited to interconnectivity include target tracking, embedded training, situational awareness, fire control computers, and launcher control units. Connectors created specially for vetronics applications will join connectors like the MIL-DTL-26842, MIL-DTL-5015, and MIL-38999 in future army vehicles.
Professionals have come at vetronics using several different approaches. Some prefer a modernization program, which takes into account the current vehicles, their projected evolution, and deployed acquisitions. Another method, modular vetronics, focuses on standard component design and often decreases the cost of change. Modular vetronics, as you might imagine, are constructed with open architectures that can be changed as needed. This reduces the cost of initial development, production, upgrades, and training maintenance crews.
The prominence of data-intensive applications in today’s military intimate a strong and successful future for vetronics. The vetronics market is predicted to remain stable in the coming years, with the value of the market currently in the $900 million range.