Raytheon Missiles & Defense advances gallium nitride technology

TUCSON, Ariz., (Nov. 18, 2021) — Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, has further enhanced its semiconductor foundry’s process for producing military-grade gallium nitride, known as GaN. The improved GaN, produced under the Defense Production Act Title III contract, performs better and costs less than previous versions.

“GaN is foundational to nearly all the cutting-edge defense technology that we produce,” said Colin Whelan, vice president of Advanced Technology at Raytheon Missiles & Defense. “By enhancing this process, we are developing superior products with increased capabilities, from threat detection to lethality, on faster timelines.”

The new version of GaN has earned a Manufacturing Readiness Level 9 and is ready for full rate production. The military-grade GaN has increased verified performance, gain, and efficiency, while maintaining its proven reliability. Its use has already reduced costs on Next Generation Jammer production.

“The Title III program allows us to target investments that develop and improve critical domestic industrial base capabilities for the American warfighter,” said John Blevins, Title III GaN program manager, Air Force Research Laboratory. “GaN fulfills exactly that.”

GaN is a semiconductor material that can efficiently amplify high power radio frequency signals at microwave frequencies, thereby enhancing a system's range and radar resource management handling, while reducing size, weight, power and cost. It is used in a broad spectrum of military radars and defense systems from Patriot® to GhostEye™ to the SPY-6 family of radars.

In 2016, the AFRL’s Materials and Manufacturing Technology Directorate, acting as executive agent for the DPA Title III Program, awarded Raytheon’s Advanced Technology team a Title III contract to enhance the GaN production process.

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About Raytheon Missiles & Defense

Raytheon Missiles & Defense brings global customers the most advanced end-to-end solutions delivering the advantage of one innovative partner to detect, track, and intercept threats. With a broad portfolio of air and missile defense systems, precision weapons, radars, command and control systems and advanced defense technologies Raytheon Missiles & Defense solutions protect citizens, warfighters and infrastructure in more than fifty countries around the world.