The introduction of new defence equipment is a long and complex process. In the mid-20th Century, when military technology was evolving rapidly, new defence platforms such as armoured vehicles and aircraft were introduced quickly. As a result, they often stayed in service for just a few years before the latest innovations made them obsolete. 

The complexity of modern military systems means that this rapid development is no longer possible. It can now take a decade or more for an aircraft or platform to enter frontline service. The defence forces which use them expect long lifespans due to the huge investment required in their development. The extensive training that pilots and soldiers need to operate these systems is also an important argument for ensuring that equipment enjoys a long service life. 

Constant upgrading of defence equipment 

This has combined with changes in how military power is being deployed in the current international environment. Defence forces need to be flexible to adapt to new roles and emerging threats. Their equipment must also be capable of evolving to deal with new requirements. Designers must therefore expect military platforms to undergo a constant program of upgrades. 

Easily reconfigurable controllers 

As new capabilities become available and systems are added, pilots and operators need interfaces that can be upgraded in parallel. Controls can be future-proofed in several ways. Some controllers can be easily reconfigured to be compatible with new systems. Alternatively, modular controllers can be installed whilst leaving spaces available for future upgrades. 

Changes of configurations can also be achieved with software alone. By reconfiguring an output voltage or routing, some controls can be repurposed easily, allowing operators to continue using familiar interfaces without the need for additional training. 

APEM: HMIs for the long term 

When the designer is selecting a component to future-proof their platform, they also need to choose a manufacturer who will be able to support the product throughout its expected lifespan. APEM has been delivering high reliability products into the military and aerospace industries for more than 5 decades. Defence customers can depend on APEM to maintain a safe and secure supply chain. 

Deploying modern military platforms requires a huge investment both in initial cost and ongoing training. Defence forces around the world need systems that can respond to new roles and threats. By choosing high reliability components from a manufacturer with a proven track record in this demanding industry, designers can ensure that their equipment will deliver effective service for years to come. 

Explore some of APEM’s products perfectly adapted to military constraints: