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Military Connectors and Their Standardization

While defense systems and technology often operate with the same types of parts and components as any non-military version, defense applications will regularly be held to much higher standards in terms of assembly construction to ensure ample performance, reliability, and more. Regardless of whether one is discussing combat, surveillance, transportation, or even medical sectors of defense, all take advantage of advanced electronics and technology that meet the demands of global operations. For these various systems and devices to function with ample performance and reliability, they necessitate the best electrical connectors available. These connectors are designed to meet various military standards, and we will discuss military connector components and their standardization in this blog to help you better understand how they surpass their commercial variants in different ways.

For U.S. military operations, equipment features, capabilities, and quality must all be in accordance with standards and guidelines that have been established by the Department of Defense (DoD). Aside from military connectors, these standards cover everything from the smallest microelectronic part to the biggest naval carrier, and the rigorous nature of these mandates leave no room for exception. One of the biggest indicators of a part meeting DoD standardization is if it is listed with the prefix “MIL” or to be described as a Mil-Spec component, as these items follow specifications written, cataloged, and overseen by those within the DoD’s Defense Standardization Program.

There are many benefits to using Mil-Spec components for defense applications, such as guaranteeing a higher level of interoperability, easier maintenance and repair, more optimal management, and much more. This is highly beneficial for technicians working within defense circles as they can better enact critical repairs with a standard set of knowledge regarding requirements and specifications.

One notable military connector standard is the MIL-DTL-83513F standard, that of which covers microminiature, polarized shell, and rectangular connectors. This standard has a set of requirements that must be followed, though some of the most notable ones are that they must seamlessly interface with any other connectors or related parts made in accordance with DoD standards, consist of connectors that are made from conductive copper-based alloys with gold plating, be appropriately fabricated to avoid corrosion as a result of dissimilar materials, and be made from nonmagnetic materials.

For the Navy, the MIL-C-24321D standard is a common example, featuring requirements that are more in-line with marine based operations. Examples of tenants within this compliance guideline include having pin and socket contacts that are gold-plated, pressure-proof caps that are hermetically sealed to avoid the intrusion of hydrostatic pressure, strong insulation resistance to be able to withstand dielectric voltages, and more.

While shopping with military standards in mind, there are many connector types that one may use, and the choice will often come down to the assembly in question and its needs. For instance, some of the most common types of military connectors that are used include hermetic rectangular connectors, circular connectors, multiple pin headers, radio frequency connectors, dry- and wet-mat connectors, and much more. If you are interested in procuring any of these various options, look no further than Part Orbit.

Part Orbit is a website owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, and we serve a variety of defense applications with our massive inventory of items. Take the time to explore our various catalogs where you can find a plethora of products that meet DoD standardization. With our purchasing power and market expertise, we also always strive to save you time and money on your offers, presenting highly competitive pricing and rapid lead times on all we carry. To get started on the purchasing process, fill out and submit an RFQ form as provided on our website, and a team member of ours will reach out to you in 15 minutes or less to present you with a customized quote for your comparisons. 


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