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BAE Developing Electronic Warfare Technology

By | August 27, 2007

      BAE Systems is developing a new high-power amplifier technology that can guard forces against radar-guided missile threats.

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

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

      Under an $8 million contract from the Army Communications-Electronics Command with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), BAE will develop the technology.

      The company will build a 160-watt solid-state, gallium nitride (GaN) power amplifier for communications, electronic warfare, and radar applications.

      That solid-state technology will replace older vacuum tubes, called traveling wave tubes, currently used to produce high-powered radio frequency signals.

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

      BAE gained the award under the DARPA 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 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 DARPA agent for this work will be the Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development, and Engineering Center in Fort Monmouth, N.J.

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