ST Engineering and Ultra Precision Control Systems (PCS) have stepped up to the challenge by developing a cutting-edge commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) electronic vehicle architecture. This groundbreaking collaboration promises to revolutionize the way we approach vehicle electronics in the defense sector. The partnership between ST Engineering and Ultra was born out of a shared vision to expand their global footprint and enhance their presence in international markets. The decision to launch their new electronic vehicle architecture at the prestigious DSEI 2023 exhibition in London underscores the importance of this development. The UK defense market, known for its openness to international involvement, provided the ideal backdrop for this unveiling. ST Engineering’s strategic objective has been to foster partnerships that harness the combined strengths of ST Engineering’s technology, UK manufacturing capabilities, and the open-mindedness of the UK defense market. Furthermore, as a “strong NATO member,” establishing a presence in the UK offers the potential to serve as a gateway to other NATO countries’ defense markets.
The Electronic Architecture Kit (EAK), to be marketed by Ultra, is based on the fusion of ST Engineering’s Vehicular Integrated Communications System (VICS) and Ultra’s Platform Gateway Interface (PGI). Together, these components create a generic vehicle architecture (GVA) compliant system that promises to set new standards in the industry. The VICS, with its dual ethernet ring Internet Protocol (IP) backbone, is designed to handle link-local network (LLN) voice, data, and video seamlessly. Meanwhile, the PGI software, hosted on the VICS network, offers a comprehensive implementation of GVA standards, ensuring compatibility and functionality across various platforms. Ultra’s Platform Gateway Interface (UltraPGI), a core component of the Ultra Electronic Architecture Kit (UltraEAK), presents customers and equipment original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) with an open, modular, and scalable implementation of the Generic Vehicle Architecture (GVA) standard. This software solution not only provides a common backbone but also integrates the Land Data Model (LDM) and a Data Distribution Service (DDS) communications layer for efficient information sharing.
One of the standout features of UltraPGI is its affordability, making it an ideal choice for retrofitting on legacy platforms. This approach allows existing hardware to be seamlessly integrated alongside the core software through the development of new software modules. This practical approach builds on, rather than replaces, existing hardware, resulting in cost-effective upgrades. The adoption of the Generic Vehicle Architecture (GVA) represents a significant leap forward in defense technology. GVA offers a cost-effective, open, distributed, and modular power and data backbone that simplifies the integration of multiple sensors, weapons, communications systems, and platform management tools. Additionally, this architecture enables seamless technology upgrades, ensuring that our defense systems remain on the cutting edge.
It is important to note that GVA is part of the broader UK MoD Land Open Systems Architecture (LOSA) approach, which is mandated for future systems integration and interoperability in the military land domain. The LOSA framework includes not only GVA but also Generic Base Architecture (GBA) and Generic Soldier Architecture (GSA), areas in which Ultra has also demonstrated expertise. Ultra’s commitment to delivering GVA solutions that comply with both UK and NATO requirements, as well as other international standards such as VICTORY in the US, highlights its dedication to ensuring the compatibility and effectiveness of its offerings on a global scale. In conclusion, the partnership between ST Engineering and Ultra represents a pivotal moment in defense technology. Their innovative Electronic Architecture Kit (EAK) and the Ultra Platform Gateway Interface (UltraPGI) have the potential to transform the way we approach vehicle electronics in the defense sector. These advancements in generic vehicle architecture promise greater efficiency, interoperability, and affordability, ensuring that our armed forces are equipped with the best technology available to meet the challenges of the future. ST Engineering and Ultra have taken a significant step forward in advancing defense capabilities, and we eagerly anticipate the positive impact of their pioneering work on the defense landscape.