Despite the economic roller coaster driving procurement and buying challenges around the globe, it turns out the defense of the nation is an area that can’t wait for an inconvenient pandemic to be over. Programs in the works for upgrades to existing hardware, new weapon systems, military IT infrastructure, and cyber security continue largely unabated.
CPI continues to be a preferred, USA based, DOD vendor for switch and sensor solutions into this market, especially where other solutions fail to meet performance and durability requirements. Consider a few of the applications where CPI waterproof switches are currently deployed on battlefield equipment and vehicles:
Bradley Fighting Vehicle – CPI waterproof switches and sensors have been used all over this vehicle in a variety of applications owing to our harsh duty capability, and overall reliability. The Army is currently developing requirements for an upgrade to this vehicle.
- Neutral Safety Detection– In this application a mil-spec version of our stainless steel, small form factor J4-ball switch is used directly in the transmission of the M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Neutral safety detection is a key safety issue on tanks and other vehicles of this class, preventing deployment of other systems when the vehicle is moving. The J4 with its double exclusion seal and its ability to withstand extreme heat (and cold!) make it an ideal solution for this application and all harsh duty applications.
- Cab Down/Door Closed Detection – On military vehicles like trucks, troop carriers, and construction vehicles, variations of our E1 series waterproof limit switch are often used to provide sensing of hood and door locking. These switches are completely waterproof and sealed, then can be mounted into a variety of actuator assemblies. Common to the cab-down application is use of our E1390, a simulated roller design that performs reliably and has been rated to over 1 million cycles* of electro-mechanical endurance in military applications.
M939 5 Ton Truck – As the workhorse truck in the US Army, this vehicle has many variants owing to the many types of deployment scenarios it has been slated for.
Just some of the places CPI switches have been used include:
- Brake Lights – Brake light detection on such a heavy vehicle is trusted to our E2 Limit switch
- Ether Injection for Cold Start – Our D1 push-button switch provides operator control.
- Temperature Sensing – Our thermal switches are also used on this vehicle, see this discussion.
Thaad Missile Launcher – The “Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System” is essentially a sophisticated rocket launcher made by Lockheed, mounted onto a truck frame made by Oshkosh Truck. While exact use of our switch is classified, we can tell you that applications like power on/off, and many other maintained contact military applications that require a robust waterproof switch, select CPI as their primary design-in. Sometimes these switches are mounted in a panel in the cab of the vehicle, other times one of our mechanical stainless steel mounting brackets is inserted into the machinery and used to achieve precise and reliable actuation.
US Air Force
Attack and Support Helicopters – A wide variety of ordinance is designed to be mounted to a helicopter depending on the tactical situation. Once such piece of firepower is the GP-9 Gun Pod below.
GP– 9 Gun Pod – This .50 caliber gun pod brings heavy firepower to helicopters. Our D1040 waterproof plunger switch was selected as the last round detection switch, critical for facilitating a fast re-load. This switch is essentially our stainless steel plunger mounting assembly used over our B9111 waterproof momentary switch. The solution is ultra-reliable, while maintaining a small form factor. Here’s a more detailed explanation of how this works.
Marines and Navy Applications
Special Operations Marine Humvee – Our K1005 is deployed on Special operations vehicles for Marine Corp Humvee’s, In this application an operator can manually activate the cooling fan for an up front display unit. This application features a panel mount variation of our waterproof switch with custom lead lengths that allow seamless integration into the overall console electronics.
Life Raft Ejection System – In this application for Navy ships, two of our E1117-B2002 switches are used in the ejection system, owing to their waterproof operation. This system uses the E1117 mounting bracket, a stainless steel mounting bracket with a Delrin roller lever actuator, working with our B2002 momentary contact switch. These military grade switches are encased in neoprene rubber and come in two button heights depending on design requirements. The switch is fully compliant with MS39058 and MIL-C-13436.
CPI Waterproof Switches take a beating that other technologies can’t
With embedded computer controls being ubiquitous in military equipment, some applications have gone the way of cheap sensors, relying on the control computer to drive relay closures and alarm notifications. But when the application is tough enough, and fail-safe operation remains your primary concern, there’s just too many things that can go wrong with a distributed system. With our waterproof switches handling as much as 15A of current (load type dependent), you can have the best of both words: independent man or machine switch control, and remote notification to your controlling system.
For more information on fully qualified CPI switches for military applications, contact our team today.
* These ratings for < 5A operation, electromechanical endurance decreases as switching current requirements increase