Qorvo GaN in US Army Radar System
Powerful amplifier chosen by Lockheed Martin to improve range, reliability and lifecycle costs
RF company Qorvo has announced that one of its GaN power amplifiers has been selected by Lockheed Martin to provide GaN modules for production of the US Army’s Q-53 radar system.
Using GaN technology in this multi-mission mobile radar will improve efficiency, power density, reliability and lifecycle cost over the GaAs amplifiers currently used in the system.
The S-band MMIC high power amplifier (HPA) is built on Qorvo’s GaN-on-SiC technology. The GaN HPA delivers more than twice the saturated output power and a fifteen-point improvement in power-added efficiency (PAE) over the GaAs predecessor.
These capabilities support needed functions of the phased-array Q-53 radar, such as long-range counterfire acquisition. The amplifier’s compact size and high performance supports a wide range of challenging operating conditions. GaN-on-SiC technology has the added benefit of increasing system reliability and reducing lifecycle ownership costs.
James Klein, Qorvo’s president of infrastructure and defence products, said: “GaN-based amplifiers are providing RF system engineers with the flexibility to achieve significantly higher power and efficiency than GaAs while using fewer parts. The Q-53 radar system exemplifies just how closely Qorvo works with its defense customers to bring commercial technology to military applications that operate across the spectrum with the highest levels of reliability and functionality. We are proud to be selected by Lockheed Martin to help upgrade the US Army’s most modern radar system.”
Lockheed Martin has used an open GaN foundry model leveraging relationships with commercial suppliers, like Qorvo, that use the power of the expansive telecommunications market. This process takes advantage of the commercial industry’s investment in GaN, enables competition and ultimately reduces costs.