Argon ST to Work with GE on Shipboard Signals Intelligence System

Performance, cost-effectiveness, responsiveness, long-term support are key factors


CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA    SEPTEMBER 27, 2011 GE Intelligent Platforms today announced that it had received an order from Argon ST of Fairfax, Virginia for a quantity of specially-modified VR12 single board computers that will be deployed as part of the company’s Ships Signal Exploitation Equipment (SSEE) system.  The initial order is valued at just over $1 million, and further orders totalling $5 million are expected in the coming years.

Specifically, the VR12 – a rugged 6U VME platform featuring the Intel® Core™ i7 processor – will play a key role in data acquisition as part of a shipboard signals intelligence (SIGINT) subsystem. It was chosen by Argon for its high performance, cost-effectiveness and GE’s ability to deliver to Argon’s specific requirements in a timely manner. GE’s long term technology insertion roadmap for the VR12 – meaning that Argon could rely on the availability of straightforward, inexpensive upgrades in the future - and GE’s long term support programs, including the innovative Product Lifecycle Management program, which recognizes the often multi-decade nature of military program deployment, were also key factors in Argon’s decision.

“Increasingly, in times when budgets are severely constrained, companies in the defense industry are looking to drive risk to the absolute minimum,” said Jay Swenson, Director, Business Development, GE Intelligent Platforms. “The implication of that is that they are choosing COTS – or modified COTS, as in this case - solutions rather than solutions developed in-house, and they are acquiring them from suppliers like GE who have the stability and maturity necessary to ensure long term availability and support.“

According to, SSEE allows operators to monitor and analyze signals of interest within the Ship's Signals Exploitation Space (SSES) aboard a variety of ship classes. “[Its] use of COTS hardware and software is innovative and creative because incremental upgrades to hardware can be integrated, tested and fielded in a shorter time than traditional development efforts. The system can evolve and adapt quickly in order to exploit new threat emergent technology thus allowing the Navy to take full advantage of state-of-the-art technology being used in the commercial market. The use of COTS hardware common with other systems also allows more economical procurement of hardware and spares.”


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Ian McMurray, GE Intelligent Platforms

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