Mil-Spec Circular Connectors

Manufacturers and suppliers of military specification (mil-spec / mil-std) circular connectors for military and defense applications
Overview Mil-Spec Circular Connectors
By Staff Writer Last updated: January 22nd, 2024
mil spec circular connectors
Mil-spec circular connectors by Omnetics

Circular connectors perform a critical role in military electronic systems. They are relied upon to provide reliable transmission of electrical signals and power in harsh operating conditions and extreme environments.

Mil-spec circular connectors are commonly used for communication, navigation and power distribution within avionics systems, ground vehicle systems, naval applications and soldier-worn systems.

In military applications, circular connectors must meet a variety of stringent military standards to ensure reliable operation and compatibility across systems and equipment.

Common Military Specifications for Circular Connectors

Common connector military standards (mil-std / mil-spec) include MIL-DTL-38999, MIL-DTL-5015, MIL-DTL-26482 and MIL-DTL-83723. These standards define the range of shell sizes, pin layout/configuration options and coupling mechanisms that each size of connector must meet, to ensure universal compatibility across military equipment. Mil-std circular connectors must also meet stringent dust and moisture ingress protection requirements and performance standards, to ensure reliable performance within the intended operating environment.

Characteristics of Mil Spec Circular Connectors

Mil-spec circular connectors are built to withstand harsh military operating conditions. Available in a wide variety of sizes and pin configurations, mil-spec circular connectors utilize high-strength materials such as stainless-steel and aluminium and typically feature single- or multi-gasket sealing to ensure protection against dust or water ingress. Hermetically-sealed circular connectors perform an air-tight seal of the connector interface.

Miniature circular mil spec connectors
Omnetics micro circular connectors, designed to MIL-DTL-83513

Due to their simple shape, circular connectors are highly versatile, available with a wide range of secure coupling mechanisms including push-pull, ratcheting, bayonet and screw mechanisms.

Mil-grade Connector Shielding

Military systems are typically exposed to high levels of electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI) due to the proximity of adjacent systems. Mil-spec circular connectors therefore typically feature shielding to ensure low electromagnetic interference and radio frequency interference, for reliable and secure data transmission.