The US Missile Defense Agency has awarded Raytheon Company of Waltham, MA, USA a contract modification to develop a transition to production process to incorporate gallium nitride (GaN) components into existing and future AN/TPY-2 radars. This initial effort will support the transition from gallium arsenide (GaAs) to GaN technology, which would further modernize the ballistic missile defense radar and drive down system obsolescence.
As demonstrated in other Raytheon-developed military radar applications, GaN has the capability to enhance range, increase detection and discrimination performance and lower production costs.
Currently fielded AN/TPY-2 radars use GaAs-based transmit/receive modules to emit high-power radiation. Raytheon and the MDA are pursuing a retrofit approach to leverage GaN elements.
“GaN components have significant, proven advantages when compared to the previous-generation GaAs technology,” says Dave Gulla, VP of Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems Mission Systems and Sensors business area. “Through this effort, Raytheon will develop a clear modernization upgrade path for the AN/TPY-2 radar, enabling the system to better defend people and critical assets against ballistic missile threats at home and abroad.”
The AN/TPY-2 is a transportable X-band radar that protects civilians and infrastructure in the USA, deployed military personnel, and allied nations and security partners from ballistic missile threats. According to recent Congressional testimony by the director of the MDA, the threat is growing as potential adversaries acquire a greater number of ballistic missiles, increase their range, incorporate countermeasures and make them more complex, survivable, reliable and accurate.