A program was created with joint industry and government funding to apply fiber optic technologies to tactical aircraft. The technology offers many potential benefits, including increased electromagnetic interference immunity and the possibility of reduced weight, increased reliability, and enlarged capability from redesigning architectures to use the large bandwidth of fiber optics. Those benefits will only be realized if fiber optics meets the unique requirements of aircraft networks. The application of fiber optics to tactical aircraft presents challenges to physical components which can only be met by a methodical attention to what is required, what are the conditions of use, and how will the components be produced in the broad context of a fiber optics using economy. For this purpose, the FLASH program has outlined a plan, and developed a team to evaluate requirements, delineate environmental and use conditions, and design practical, low cost components for tactical aircraft fiber optic cable plants including cables, connectors, splices, backplanes, manufacturing and installation methods, and test and maintenance methods.