Military Cable Assemblies

Military cable assembly manufacturers and suppliers of mil spec fiber optic cable assemblies for defense and aerospace applications
Overview Military Cable Assemblies
By Mike Ball Last updated: January 22nd, 2024

Military cable assemblies and wire harnesses are used to transfer power, data and other electrical signals, and are utilized in a wide range of defense and aerospace applications, including aircraft, ground vehicles, naval vessels, dismounted soldier equipment, and command centers and forward operating bases.

Design Constraints

Design constraints of military cable assemblies can vary widely according to the application. Cables for small aircraft and UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) may have to be very strict on size and weight constraints, and wiring harnesses intended for cramped spaces or complex geometries may have to withstand significant bending without wear and tear.

Cable assemblies for defense applications may be constructed with conducting wires (typically made from copper) or with optical fibers.

Fiber Optic Cable Assemblies

Tactical Fiber Optic Cable Assemblies (TFOCA) provide a number of advantages over regular coaxial cable solutions, including:

  • lower weight
  • higher bandwidth
  • better security
  • resistance to EMI (electromagnetic interference)

Fiber optic cables also require repeaters at much greater distance intervals compared to coaxial cables.


Military cable assemblies may require a variety of different connectors to be attached to them. These can include circular, rectangular, and micro-D. These military connectors may have plastic or metal shells, and may be designed with locking mechanisms to maintain connection even under high levels of shock and vibration, or conversely, may be designed to be easily mated and disconnected even with heavy gloves on.

Rugged Assemblies

PhaseTrack Cable Assemblies for Demanding Applications by Times Microwave Systems

PhaseTrack Cable Assemblies for Demanding Applications by Times Microwave Systems

Cable assemblies intended for use in harsh battlefield and military environments may have to be ruggedized against a range of different environmental factors. They may need to withstand high levels of shock and vibration, extremes of temperature, dust and moisture ingress, salt spray, radiation exposure and chemicals such as fuels and oils.


Cable assemblies deployed in environments with high levels of radio-frequency (RF) and electromagnetic radiation may need specific shielding and grounding to prevent them from picking up unwanted signals and noise.

Mil Spec Cable Assemblies

Military cable assembly manufacturers may have to design products that conform to a variety of mil-spec and other standards such as MIL-DTL-5015, MIL-PRF-85045 and MIL-DTL-17.

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