The latest article published by 1394 Trade Association provides details of the deployment of IEEE 1394b (FireWire) in the X-47B unmanned combat air system demonstration (UCAS-D).
The FireWire has been established as an aircraft vehicle management (VMS) network in the X-47B developed by Northrop-Grumman group.
Northrop-Grumman group has developed the X-47B as part of the J-UCAS program of the DARPA. The combat aircraft is now part of the UCAS-D program of the U.S Navy. Northrop group developed the aircraft with the aim of building a carrier-based unmanned aircraft. There was a need for a network system in the aircraft which would provide quality service with real-time control that comes with predictable latencies. This network system was achieved by the military standard 1394b provided by combining SAE with AS5643. The incorporation of the 1394 FireWire network in the X-47B aircraft is another success story for the network. Apart from the X-47B aircraft, the FireWire network has been implemented in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter which is made up of more than 70 devices that use the 1394 standard. These devices are involved in the collection and delivery of mission information and consist of various weapon systems, engine controls, flight control and communication equipment. The developer of FireWire, Richard Mourn has reviewed the implementation of the 1394 standard in the X-47B aircraft. He is also part of the board of directors of the 1394 Trade Association