Hi-Endurance Switching, Sensing
& Linear Position Sensors

US Military Using CPI Switches for Next-Gen Vehicles and Weapon Systems

Phalanx Gun with CPI Switches

If there is one thing you can say about our Thermal and Waterproof Switch product lines, it may be that they are not Johnny-come-lately technologies.

CPI has been researching, developing, tweaking, USA manufacturing, and cost reducing these products for over 70 years now. So when we say their durability and performance is unparalleled in the world of harsh duty switching and sensor components, well we have a good reason for that.

It turns out that the US military and friendly militaries across the globe, largely agree with us. Over the last half century, CPI switches have found their way into tanks and armored personnel carriers, jet aircraft, naval weapon systems, even submarines. We have over 100 National Stock Numbers (NSN), QPL, USATAC and MS items in our catalog. While our products are used in all kinds of harsh duty commercial applications too, variations of these products are in some cases the only or best solution for equipment exposed to the harsh realities of modern warfare.

  • Standalone Operation – Many switching or thermal sensing applications have gone the way of cheap remote sensors with detection or switching actually provided by a remote computer. But it turns out that where no computer exists, of failsafe backup is needed, the local switching and hard to kill nature of our products is a perfect solution.
  • MIL-Spec – Our switches meet or exceed MS 39058, MIL-STD-202, MIL-F-13927, MIL-S-13484 (waterproof); MIL-STD-810 (thermal)
  • Extended Temperature Operation – We can achieve operational temperatures down to -65°F without contact freezing.
  • All our products are manufactured in the USA, and 95% of our raw material is sourced from the USA. Extremely low risk of supply chain disruption.

Here’s just a few places our component solutions do their job inside military equipment.

CPI Switches In Military Vehicles

In everything from troop transports, to Humvee’s, to tanks, submarines, and aircraft avionics, you’ve find CPI switching products performing multiple different tasks.

·         Cab Down Sensor

·         Engine Fan Control

·         Engine Kick Down

·         Engine Oil Over Temp Switch

·         Push-to-Talk (PTT) Switch

·         Smoke Generator Temp Control

·         Weapon Light Switch

·         Window Defrost

Another key factor in the selection of CPI switches for military and other non-automotive vehicles is their immunity to vibration. They are designed to maintain operational integrity under extreme and prolongated vibrational environments. 

CPI Switches In Weapon Systems

While many weapon system applications for the US military are classified, both thermal and waterproof switches find uses in safety and thermal detection applications on land, sea and air. One interesting niche for our products seems to be cold weather thermal detection and operation. In guns that are exposed to cold, potential thermal problems can be prevented by activating heaters using our thermal switches.

  • CROWS System – The Army’s Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS) rely’s on our K1005 waterproof rocker switch for PON control of the sensitive targeting electronics.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Navy Phalanx Gun – In this application our AC006-501 will trigger when ambient temperature in the electronics bay drops below This activation triggers heaters built into the gun to keep circuit boards in the bay from getting too cold!

CPI Switches Keeping America Safe for over 70 years.

It’s worth noting that our first switches were actually made for the military aircraft back during WWII, and we’ve been making high quality switch and sensor products ever since.

We are happy to discuss switching applications for the next generation of military hardware with friendly designers from around the world.

Make The "Switch" to CPI

If your momentary switch application demands high performance, we think you should demand CPI. Please call us today to speak with our engineering team about your needs.

(973) 887-9400