BAE Wins Amplifier Development Deal

By Tish Drake | August 24, 2007
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BAE Systems received an $8 million contract to develop high-power amplifier technology capable of guarding U.S. forces against radar-guided missile threats. Under a contract with the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), BAE Systems will build a 160-watt solid-state, gallium nitride (GaN) power amplifier for communications, electronic warfare and radar applications. BAE said the technology is intended to replace older vacuum tubes currently used to produce high-power radio frequency signals. The first prototypes could be deployed by the end of the decade, the company said. “DARPA has identified BAE Systems’ GaN technology as an important material for future military applications in electronic warfare, radar, and air-to-ground, air-to-satellite and ground-to-ground communications systems,” said John Evans, DARPA Disruptive Manufacturing Technology program manager. The solid-state amplifiers will more effectively disrup enemy communications and radar signals, while protecting friendly communications, BAE said. “Using this technology, we can develop systems that are significantly less expensive, more reliable, and lower in weight,” said Tony Immorlica, program manager of microwave device programs at BAE Systems.

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