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11 July 2016

US Army grants Raytheon $1.1m to develop GaN-based front-ends for Next Generation Radar program

The US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has entered into a collaborative alliance via a $1.1m grant with Raytheon Company of Waltham, MA, USA to develop Scalable, Agile, Multimode, Front End Technology (SAMFET) for the Army's Next Generation Radar (NGR) program.

As part of a 24-month cooperative research agreement within ARL's Advanced RF Technologies Program, Raytheon will help to create and demonstrate modular building blocks that can easily integrate with next-generation radar systems.

NGR will enhance radar-reliant Air Defense and Counter Rocket and Mortar system performance, particularly in portable configurations such as hand-held, vehicle-mounted and airborne deployments. Raytheon will work with ARL to explore new approaches for the design and fabrication of modular components that will fit into NGR's open architecture, offering processing flexibility, agility and efficiency across radar bands.

"Raytheon's storied track record of innovation in applied radar technologies uniquely positions us to play a critical role in the development of the US Army's Next Generation Radar system," reckons Colin Whelan, Raytheon's vice president of Advanced Technology. "With the Army Research Lab, our team will leverage Raytheon's deep investment and unmatched expertise as a pioneer in gallium nitride technology to dramatically improve radar capabilities."

Raytheon's efforts to mature GaN for military production earned it the highest OSD (Office of the Secretary of Defense)-rated manufacturing readiness level of any organization in the defense industry. As a semiconductor material that can efficiently amplify high-power signals at microwave frequencies, GaN enables radars to operate up to five times more powerfully than they would with older semiconductor technology, it is reckoned, and without overheating. Raytheon's GaN components generate RF at a third of the cost per watt compared to gallium arsenide (GaAs) alternatives, deliver higher power density and efficiency, and have demonstrated mean time between failures (MTBF) of 100 million hours.

Tags: Raytheon GaN MMIC Radar

Visit: www.raytheon.com

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