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BAE Systems to Develop Electronic Warfare Amplifier Technology


MERRIMACK, New Hampshire — BAE Systems is developing a new high-power amplifier technology that can guard U.S. forces against radar-guided missile threats.

Under an $8 million contract from 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. The solid-state technology will replace older vacuum tubes, called traveling wave tubes, currently used to produce high-power radio frequency signals.

The new solid-state amplifiers will aid warfighters by more effectively disrupting enemy communications and radar signals, while protecting friendly communications.

The award was made under DARPA’s Disruptive Manufacturing Technology program. Through that program, the defense agency solicits proposals to reduce cost and time for production of military components. BAE Systems was chosen from among 40 bidders.

“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 Dr. John Evans, DARPA Disruptive Manufacturing Technology program manager.

“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. The first prototypes could be deployed by the end of the decade.

The DARPA agent for this work will be the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development, and Engineering Center in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey.

Rohm and Haas of Blacksburg, Virginia, and University of Colorado are partnering with BAE Systems on the program.


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