To ARMS: USA Looks to Improve AESA Radar Manufacturing
The ARMS (Affordable Radio Frequency Multifunction Sensors) program is focused on developing new manufacturing processes to improve manufacturing for ASEA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar components, whether that means reliability improvements or decreases in cycle time and costs. AESA radars have a number of advantages over previous radar technologies, including far better reliability, better range and resolution, and the ability to recruit groups of individual transmit/receive modules for tasks like high-bandwidth communications and electronic warfare.
The biggest barrier to widespread adoption of AESA radars has always been their cost, in part due to the effort required to make their thousands of individual Transmit/Receive modules. Anything that improves AESA radar manufacturing helps to cement an advantage for American firms in a critical future technology. Hence ARMs…
The goal for funded ARMS R&D projects is Level 6 manufacturing readiness, which denotes an initial manufacturing approach that isn’t fully refined, but is advanced enough for a Milestone B acquisition decision.
June 4/14: ARMS. Raytheon Co. in El Segundo, CA receives a $7.1 million ARMS contract. $1 million in FY 2013 and 2014 USAF R&D budgets is committed immediately. Work will be performed in El Segundo, CA, and is expected to be complete by March 4/16 (FA8650-14-C-5502).
Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems in Linthicum Heights, MD receives a $3.75 million ARMS contract. $2.66 million in FY 2014 USAF R&D budgets is committed immediately. Work will be performed in Linthicum Heights, MD, and is expected to be complete by March 4/16 (FA8650-14-C-5502).
These awards are the result of a competitive acquisition, with 7 offers received by the USAF Research Laboratory Materials and Manufacturing Directorate’s Manufacturing Technology Division, at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH. The initial winners aren’t surprising, as they’re the 2 firms that make most of the AESA radars slated for service with the US military. The biggest missing radar competitor is Lockheed Martin.
- Semiconductor Today (April 1/14) – Raytheon demonstrates GaN-on-diamond HEMT with 3x increase in power density over GaN-on-SiC. Not an April Fool’s.
- Raytheon (Aug 13/13) – Inside the Diamond Mine: Synthetic Gems Get the Military’s Attention.
- DID Search – Gallium Nitride.