Rugged Ethernet switch from GE to go aboard MQ-8 Fire Scout helicopter drone

Posted by John Keller

PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md., 23 June 2013. U.S. Navy aircraft experts needed rugged Ethernet switches for the Northrop Grumman MQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). They found their solution from GE Intelligent Platforms in Huntsville, Ala.

Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., have announced their intention to issue a new contract to GE for 15 RES-210 rugged Ethernet switches for the Fire Scout unmanned helicopter.

Navy officials say they will issue a sole-source contract to GE because the company is the only known source that can meet their requirements for a rugged Ethernet switch for the Fire Scout UAV. The value of the contract has yet to be negotiated.

The Fire Scout unmanned helicopter can operate from land bases or from a variety of surface ships -- including the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and Perry-class frigate -- to provide reconnaissance, situational awareness, and precision targeting.

The Fire Scout has modular mission payload capability, which lends itself to missions such as anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare and mine warfare.

The GE RES-210 rugged Ethernet switch, introduced in 2009, is designed for demanding applications deployed in harsh environments, such as on military platforms that are subject to high altitudes, vibration, shock, temperature extremes, humidity, and salt fog.

It is a small, lightweight 10-port fully managed layer 2/3+ Gigabit Ethernet switch for size- and weight- constrained deployments. The switch supports IPv6 and IPv4, and meets MIL-STD-704E and MIL-STD-1275B, and is for aircraft, ground vehicles, and other military platforms, GE officials say.

The RES-210 is based on GE’s CP923RC Gigabit Ethernet switch, and is enclosed in a small rugged chassis, with GE’s OpenWare switch management environment, which provides integrated management services including configuration, monitoring, switching control, addressing, routing, and all supported protocols.

Configuration and monitoring functions are accessible from a serial console or via a network. Supported access methods include Telnet, SSH and SNMP.

For questions or concerns about this upcoming contract to GE, email the Navy's Karin Weinert at no later than 26 June 2013. Any response must show clear and convincing evidence that competition would be advantageous in a future competition.

More information is online at

For other information contact GE Intelligent Platforms online at, or Naval Air Systems Command at

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