Cables/Connecting

Smiths Interconnect launches connectors for defence applications

24th June 2022
Kiera Sowery

Smiths Interconnect has announced the launch of its HBB five-pole connector in addition to the already existing single-pole version.

The five-pole is an expansion on the existing HBB platform. The new configuration consists of the existing size 21 shell but contains five poles, each with size eight contacts as well as two interlock pins.

This means that in a very tight space, the customer can run five power lines which increases the connectors’ flexibility and offers the ability to run redundant lines as required.

When compared to traditional 38999 screw thread connectors, the HBB series offers a number of additional advantages.

One key advantage comes in the difference of latching mechanism. Whilst a traditional 38999 connector features a threaded lock, the HBB has a unique, quick latch mechanism. Beyond just ease of use, this latching feature also provides additional security whilst allowing the end user to group the connectors far closer than other alternatives on the market. The HBB latches simply by pushing the plug until the user hears a click, which is combined with tactile and visual feedback, giving confirmation that the plug is locked.​

Another primary value-added benefit of the HBB series is that it’s contacts feature the Hypertac Hyperboloid technology. The Hypertac contacts have low insertion and extraction forces, are easy to mate and demate and provide very low contact resistance.

A further advantage of the new five-pole version is that it has even higher safety protection than the single pole. The new HBB includes a “last mate first break” safety interlock system enabling automatic power shut-off when connectors are unmated.

As the five-pole is able to handle five different lines, it is ideal for combat vehicles both ground and air as it can carry power to various different areas on the vehicle. Looking forward, connectors with these capabilities will be increasingly in demand.

“We're starting to see more hybrid fighting vehicles, and soon we will see all-electric,” explained Mark Kelleher, Vice President and General Manager of the Connector Business Unit at Smiths Interconnect, “these connectors will be needed for all the ancillary equipment as well as the drive train itself.”

The HBB five-pole is also ideal in wider applications within defence, such as missile launcher platforms and ground radar installations, where the requirements for robust high-power interconnectivity are ever-growing.

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