Defense and military operations require robust and reliable power connectors for an uninterrupted supply of power in extreme or demanding environments.
Consistent power is crucial to electronic systems, communication devices, and weaponry. As a result, mil spec connectors designed for power supplies are required to meet a variety of specific criteria for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), durability, and resistance to external factors such as dust, extreme temperatures, and moisture.
For instance, the general use MIL-C-5015 specification signifies cylindrical electrical connectors with release contacts at the front and rear, made with removable crimp or solder contacts. The MIL-DTL-38999 by contrast, specifies environmentally robust, high-density, miniature circular connectors, with either bayonet, threaded, or breech coupling. This type of connector has removable crimp or fixed hermetic solder contacts. Each of the military specifications will also have operational temperature ranges.
Common MIL-SPEC Power Connectors
Circular connectors are a commonly used type of military-grade connector which may also comply with regulations like MIL-DTL-38999, among others, outlining the requirements for insulators, contacts, and connector shells.
Military power connectors also include rectangular connectors and high-density connectors. The former can offer more compact and space-efficient solutions compared to circular power connectors, perfect for environments with restricted installation space, such as armored vehicles and aircraft. The latter is designed to provide an increased number of contacts in a smaller footprint, most often used in military communication systems and electronics on which space is a valuable resource.
MIL-SPEC Power Connector Features
Military spec power connectors are tailored to the nature of specific defense applications, commonly featuring:
- EMC Shielding: effective electromagnetic compatibility shielding prevents interference from nearby electronic devices and maintains signal integrity.
- Ruggedized Construction: connectors can withstand extreme conditions, including dust, vibration, moisture, and shock, using specialized materials or coatings to decrease risk of corrosion.
- Secure Locking Mechanisms: this ensures a reliable and secure power connection, particularly in high-vibration situations.
- High Temperature Tolerance: an ability to function in a broad temperature range.
Military DC power connectors are used in aircraft systems, ground vehicles, and shipboard electronics for navigation systems, communication, weapon systems, and more.