The MIL-DTL-38999 (or D38999) connector is very familiar. It still seems to be the “go-to” connector for many designs in the military and aerospace market, which makes it all the more incredible to consider that the D38999 standard is well over 40 years old.
The D38999 standard was created in the 1970s, at a time when the digital revolution was starting to take hold in the aerospace market. Around that time, the General Dynamics F-16 was introducing the world to digital fly-by-wire controls, and the Panavia Tornado was carving a path in the realms of advanced navigation and mission computers. Against this background, the connectors of the day were simply being left behind.
The D38999 standard introduced smaller contact sizes and higher contact density into familiar connector shell designs in order to cope with the increased signal demands of digital electronics. However, the size of the connectors themselves changed little when compared to designs that originated in the 1940s, proving that the more some things change, the more other things stay the same.
Since D38999 connectors hit the market, the development of technology has accelerated. The combat aircraft, spacecraft and fighting vehicles of today bear little resemblance to those of the 1970s, and yet we continue to use a 40-year-old connector.
For engineers designing the current generation of miniaturised systems, the size of the interface connector can be a real stumbling block. However, the D38999 connector is no longer the only option.
The 2M connector from industry leader Amphenol takes the most useful features of D38999 connectors – high contact density, excellent mechanical reliability and robustness – and incorporates them into a significantly smaller physical package. This translates into a connector that offers the same performance as a D38999 type but offers a weight and space saving of up to 50%.
In an age where we are trying to pack more features into smaller and smaller spaces, can you afford to stick with D38999? Take a look at the 2M today and see how it can help your next design
Contact us to speak to one of our Amphenol Product Managers today!