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14 May 2007


Sofradir wins Raytheon contract to supply MCT detectors to US Army

Sofradir of Veurey-Voroize, near Grenoble, France, which manufactures infrared (IR) detectors, has won a multi-million dollar contract from The Network Centric Systems business of Raytheon Company in McKinney, TX to supply second-generation mercury cadmium telluride (MCT, or HgCdTe) dewar detector cooler assemblies for a US Army program. The award provides Raytheon and the US Army with another qualified source of critical night vision technology. Sofradir expects the first deliveries to be made later this year.

“Sofradir supplied MCT IR detectors to the US Army several years ago,” says the firm’s CEO Philippe Bensussan. “It is rewarding to be once again providing US soldiers with high-quality technology to detect and identify key battlefield targets day and night.”

Sofradir’s new penetration of the US market, as an equipment supplier in a major program, comes less than a year after its decision to make the US market a priority and to take steps to reinforce its presence there. “Our push into the US market, stronger ties with US customers and suppliers as well as our investment in a new facility are all part of our ambitious program to expand,” Bensussan adds.

Last November, after commercializing a new third-generation IR detector process, Sofradir received permission to construct a new €9m plant (to be operational by the end of 2007). This will enable it to almost double its production area (to 9000m2) and to become the first IR detector maker to use MBE on an industrial scale, the firm claims (as well as upgrading from 2-inch to 4-inch MCT wafers).

“We plan to be a leading merchant supplier of infrared detectors in the US and elsewhere in the world, and this contract brings us one step closer.”