TEWKSBURY, Mass., 25 Oct. 2016. Microelectronics experts at the Raytheon Co. are enhancing their company's process for producing gallium nitride (GaN)-based semiconductors for advanced military radar systems, electronic warfare (EW), and other RF and microwave technologies.
Officials of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory and the Office of the Secretary of Defense have awarded a $14.9 million contract for the Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems segment in Tewksbury, Mass., to enhance GaN semiconductor manufacturing, Raytheon announced.
The pact follows a previous GaN Title III contract, which Raytheon completed in 2013, and aims to increase the performance, yield, and reliability of Raytheon GaN-based, wideband, monolithic, microwave-integrated circuits (MMICs) and circulator components.
GaN is a semiconductor material that can amplify high power radio frequency signals efficiently at microwave frequencies to enhance a system's range. GaN technology takes part in military radars and defense systems, including the U.S. Navy's Air and Missile Defense Radar and Next Generation Jammer.
Raytheon engineers will incorporate the first demonstrator of this technology into the Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) program, led by the Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems segment in McKinney, Texas. The NGJ is scheduled for low-rate initial production in 2018.
"We have only scratched the surface when it comes to harnessing the game-changing power that gallium nitride technology can bring to military applications," says Colin Whelan, vice president of advanced technology in Raytheon's Integrated Defense Systems business unit.
"Over the next two years, we will further refine our GaN process to push the limits of radio frequency performance while maintaining or increasing yield and reliability."
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