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  • Vnomad
    Rank 5 Registered User

    #81
    Thales do build GaN radars, aswell as SAAB. Of course, if you do not know ... And no, Gripen EW system is GaN based... Ignorance...
    Thales AFAIK doesn't have any operational units, so far. SAAB was to commence deliveries this year, the systems may be operational in the field, can't say. And for your information, the Gripen E will IOC no earlier than 2023.

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    • eagle1
      Rank 5 Registered User

      #82
      Thales GroundMaster radars are operational since 2010 and works with GaN, but also SEA FIRE which production has begun for the French navy FTI frigates. There is the NS200 also for naval application with GaN antennas. You can add the APAR Block 2 which is a GaN radar (X-band) again for naval application.

      Rafale is flying with Spectra with GaN antennas since late 2014 and the F3R standard with Spectra GaN upgrade has just been validated a few days ago by the DGA.
      The rafale F4 should feature full GaN technology for radar and EW + additional emitting panels. The RBE2 NG as it is called is in development.

      In this particular area (GaN) it is probable the rafale will enjoy for some times a lead over the F35.

      Comment

      • eagle1
        Rank 5 Registered User

        #83
        I finally found the old 2013 Air & Cosmos weekly article on GaN development and spectra, unfortunately the translation was quite poor.

        A transmitter Spectra demonstrator GaN is expected in 2014.

        In laboratories UMS foundry, has detained being equal EADS and Thales shares, a revolution is preparing. The next year, a production of semiconductor gallium nitride (GaN) X-band should be characterized. This is a first for Europe.

        Since 2013 UMS was already succeeded to master the production of compo-nents operating in S-band GaN, including walking to the range of Thales Ground Master radars.

        - But the realization of elements X-band remained hitherto the preserve of the United States. For now, the active antenna radar has developed in Europe as the RBE2-AESA Rafale are in use feels component of gallium arsenide (GaAs) as ampEifi-ers hyperfrequences X-band "A slow-Equiva size GaN brings the promise of a gain factor of 5 on the power emitted, "said the chief engineer of armaments Xavier Grison, the

        Directorate General of Armaments. It's done well the future of airborne radar that is played on this techno-logical revolution. "With the GaAs, the room for improvement is low and the current radars are already at their upper limit in terms of
        performance, "added the engineer.

        GaN X-band calls in 2013.

        For several years, favored by upstream studies programs (EAP) successive, the Directorate General of Armaments has fosters the emergence of this technology. The final PEA dated baptizes Ganymede, should lead to the realization of prototype X-band components representative of those that will be used in an operational system. Under the current schedule, this step should be reached within two to three years. But next year, the sector GaN is already qualified, which means that the manufacturing process is mastered and the performance and reliability of the component have been clearly characterized

        Will find the application that will allow GaN to make sending and ensure a significant workload UMS. Compared to GaAs, which was quickly needed in the wireless telecommunications, GaN presents fewer potential market outlets in civilian life. According to Xavier Grison, it will take at least five years before we see opera-tional First applications of GaN on airborne systems.

        Changing Spectra.

        But undeniably benefit the Rafale GaN technology in the longer term. Already a PEA called Incas (Integration of new capabilities to Spectra) examines the replacement of existing GaAs emitters by issuers GaN. As part of this PEA, a transmitter Spectra demonstrator GaN is expected end of 2014 the potential gain is at the increasing power of emission, performance and breadth of covered band.

        For its part, the civilian industry could join the technology to develop power components for base stations for mobile phones, for example. The space sector is also interested: ESA and CNES have helped fund some developments around the GaN and its possible "spatial", for use in future communications satellites. In Europe, UMS is the only chance to see the emergence of a completely independent industrial sector in the field of GaN. The challenge is important because, as they had done for GaAs, the United States did not hesitate to apply an embargo on GaN circuits.

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        • Vnomad
          Rank 5 Registered User

          #84
          Originally posted by eagle1
          In this particular area (GaN) it is probable the rafale will enjoy for some times a lead over the F35.
          How? The F3R employs GaAs elements. The F4 employing a GaN EW system will enter service in 2025 (we'll see about the radar & auxiliary panels when they're actually confirmed). On what basis are you assuming that the F-35 Block 4.4 (inducted in the same time-frame) will not employ similar GaN based gear?

          Thales GroundMaster radars are operational since 2010 and works with GaN, but also SEA FIRE which production has begun for the French navy FTI frigates. There is the NS200 also for naval application with GaN antennas. You can add the APAR Block 2 which is a GaN radar (X-band) again for naval application.
          I'm quite familiar with the SeaFire, NS200 & APAR Blk2 offerings, and I'm sure we'll eventually see them operational. From what I can tell, the production of S-band GaN elements for the GroundMaster began in 2012, assuming a build-integration-delivery cycle of 2-3 years, so yes a GaN model definitely would be operational by now.

          AIR & COSMOS MAGAZINE 2329

          Un dmonstrateur d'metteur Spectra au nitrure de gallium est attendu en 2014.

          Dans les laboratoires de la fonderie UMS, detenue a parts egales par EADS et Thales, une revolution se prepare. Des l'an prochain, une filire de production de semi-conducteurs au nitrure de gallium (GaN) en bande X devrait etre qualifiee. C'est une premiere pour l'Europe. Depuis cette annee, UMS etait deja parvenu a maitriser la production de compo-sants GaN fonctionnant en bande S, visant notamment le marche de la gamme de radars Ground Master de Thales.

          Mais la realisation d'elements en bande X restait jusqu'alors l'apanage des Etats-Unis. Pour l'heure, les radars a antenne active developpes en Europe, comme le RBE2- AESA du Rafale, utili-sent des composants en arseniure de gallium (GaAs) comme ampEifi-cateurs hyperfrequences en bande X. A taille equiva-lente, le GaN amene la promesse d'un gain de facteur 5 sur la puissance emise, explique l'ingenieur en chef de l'armement Xavier Grison, de la Direction generale de l'armement. C'est done bien l'avenir des radars aeroportes qui se joue sur cette revolution techno-logique. Avec le GaAs, la marge de progression est faible et les radars actuels sont deja a leur limite haute en termes de performances, ajoute l'ingenieur.

          Le GaN en bande X qualifie en 2013.

          Depuis plusieurs annees, a la faveur de programmes d'etudes amont (PEA) successifs, la Direction generale de l'armement a favorise l'emergence de cette technologie. Le dernier PEA en date, baptise Ganimde, doit aboutir a la realisation de prototypes de composants en bande X representatifs de ceux qui pourront etre utilises dans un systeme operationnel. Au titre du calendrier actuel, cette etape devrait etre atteinte d'ici deux a trois ans. Mais des l'an prochain, la filire GaN sera deja qualifiee, ce qui signifie que le processus industriel sera maitrise et que les performances ainsi que la fiabilite du composant auront t clairement caracterises

          Restera a trouver l'application qui permettra au GaN de prendre son envoi et d'assurer un plan de charge significatif a UMS. Par rapport au GaAs, qui s'tait rapidement impose dans les telecommunications sans fil, le GaN presente moins de debouches potentiels dans le civil. Selon Xavier Grison, il faudra attendre au moins cinq ans avant de voir de premieres applications opera-tionnelles du GaN sur des systemes aeroportes.

          Faire voluer Spectra.

          Mais le Rafale bnficiera indniablement de la technologie GaN plus ou moins long terme. Dj, un PEA baptis InCas (Intgration de nouvelles capacits Spectra) tudie le remplacement des metteurs au GaAs actuels par des metteurs au GaN. Dans le cadre de ce PEA, un dmonstrateur d'metteur Spectra au GaN est attendu fin 2014. Le gain potentiel se situe au niveau de l'augmentation de la puissance d'emission, du rendement et de la largeur de bande couverte.

          Ici encore, la mise en production de tels systemes reste liee au timing des evolutions Rafale et n'est pas attendue avant la prochaine decennie. Encore plus futuriste, mais tout aussi plausible : le remplacement des radars de pointe avant actuels par des antennes conformes, vritables peaux intelligentes qui pourraient tre facilement dissmines sur la cellule et combineraient des fonctions radars, brouillage, communications.
          A Spectra gallium nitride emitter demonstrator is expected in 2014.

          In the laboratories of the UMS smelter, jointly owned by EADS and Thales, a revolution is being prepared. Next year, an X-band gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor production line should be qualified. This is a first for Europe. Since this year, UMS has already managed to control the production of GaN components operating in the S band, targeting in particular the Thames Ground Master range of radars.

          But the realization of elements in X band remained hitherto the prerogative of the United States. For the time being, active antenna radars developed in Europe, such as the Rafale RBE2-AESA, use gallium arsenide (GaAs) components as X-band microwave amperes. , the GaN brings the promise of a gain of factor 5 on the power emitted, explains the chief engineer of the armament Xavier Grison, of the General direction of the armament. So this is the future of the airborne radars that plays on this techno-logical revolution. "With GaAs, the margin of progression is low and current radars are already at their high limit in terms of performance," adds the engineer.

          The X-band GaN qualifies in 2013.

          For several years, thanks to successive upstream studies programs (PEA), the Directorate General of Armament has promoted the emergence of this technology. The latest PEA, called Ganimede, should lead to the production of prototype X-band components representative of those that can be used in an operational system. Under the current schedule, this step should be reached within two to three years. But next year, GaN will be qualified, which means that the industrial process will be mastered and the performance and reliability of the component will have been clearly characterized.

          Remain to find the application that will allow the GaN to take his shipment and ensure a significant load plan UMS. Compared to the GaAs, which had quickly become imperative in wireless telecommunications, the GaN has fewer potential opportunities in the civilian sector. According to Xavier Grison, it will take at least five years to see the first operational applications of GaN on airborne systems.

          Develop Spectra.

          But the Rafale undeniably benefit from GaN technology in the longer term. Already, a PEA called InCas (Integration of new capabilities at Spectra) is studying the replacement of current GaAs transmitters by GaN transmitters. As part of this PEA, a GaN Spectra transmitter demonstrator is expected at the end of 2014. The potential gain lies in the increase in transmission power, efficiency and covered bandwidth.

          Here again, the production of such systems remains linked to the timing of the Rafale evolutions and is not expected before the next decade. Even more futuristic, but equally plausible: the replacement of the current front-end radars with compliant antennas, true ?? skins ?? smart that could be easily scattered on the cell and combine functions radar, jamming, communications.
          Last edited by Vnomad; 16th November 2018, 17:18.

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          • TomcatViP
            Rank 5 Registered User

            #85
            Airbus, Dassault finalizing [unsolicited] bid for early work on new fighter jet

            One source familiar with the matter said the two companies could submit their proposal by the end of the year or early next year, paving the way for the first contract awards next year.

            One French military official told the International Fighter conference in Berlin this week that the two governments hoped to conclude an initial contract in January.

            Peter Harster, senior executive with MTU Aero Engines (MTXGn.DE), said the study contract was needed, along with a medium-term budget plan, to help set a realistic timetable and key requirements to ensure the new jet would be ready by 2040.

            Harster also called for a separate contract for work on an engine for the new jet to enable optimal flexibility and give the customers direct control over the propulsion system.

            Source:
            Reuters.com

            Comment

            • bring_it_on
              2005-year of the RAPTOR!!

              #86
              In this particular area (GaN) it is probable the rafale will enjoy for some times a lead over the F35.
              No one buys a fighter because they want GaN on a particular sub-system. They usually want a particular capability vs a particular threat and it may be in some cases that no other option besides GaN can help meet the spec. If that is the case, you will see GaN on the F-35 when the operator community demands capability that is no longer possible with GaAs across all RF application side. Another use case could be to simply replace GaAs parts with GaN parts as the OEM transitions into volume GaN production which the US industrial base has already done with the size and scale of some of the radar and EW/EA programs it is currently engaged in. In this case switching makes economic sense.

              The EA-18G and the F-15E (perhaps even the F-15C) will field GaN Electronic Warfare and Electronic Attack products very shortly. Both capabilities will be in service by 2022. A full up PEMD Next Gen. Jammer GaN AESA pod was jamming emitters at test ranges 4 years ago. Likewise, a full up EMD pod would be doing the same in about 14 months. Additional Low-Band Electronic Attack capability leveraging GaN will enter the EA-18G program by 2024, possibly even earlier as an interim solution. The NGJ MB and LB market with the USN and RAAF is well over 350 pods and these are fairly substantial sized antennas with the MB power generation ranging in the 60-65 kW range.

              Northrop Grumman is currently flying and flight testing a Dual Band (X-Ku) modular and scalable airborne radar so if there is an airborne requirement on any of their main programs they already have something flying RIGHT NOW that they could leverage if the customer demands capability enhancements. We won't know ALL of the F-35 block 4 requirements for some years still because the US OSD has classified some of them so who knows perhaps some of this is built in for down the road but even if it is not, capability is currently flying that can be added if required on the EW/EA side, sensor/radar side, or communication side (MADL or other Comms Antennas).

              There is a bit of a double edged sword though when it comes to the F-35 and its scale. One one end, 150+ a year production incentivises industry to develop solutions and do a lot of upfront S&T work, but on the other hand the threshold capability required to produce components at the required scale, requires a fair bit of upfront capital investment. In the US, only one OEM has a hot X-band T/R module line and that is Raytheon which is geared for 1-2 TPY-2s a year or about the equivalent of 25,000 - 50,000 T/R modules a year. Getting an OEM to add capacity requires a bit of effort unless the demand on the GaAs side can be scaled down which will likely happen over time.
              Last edited by bring_it_on; 17th November 2018, 23:27.
              Old radar types never die; they just phased array

              Comment

              • halloweene
                Rank 5 Registered User

                #87
                In fact, GaN modules are still expensive and huge heat generators.Finally, they found a new "tile" architecture allowing a faster treatment of data (their intent) for a lesser cost. Spectra use them on Rafale F3R. Apparently but i cannot confirm, GaN modules are used only for LEA and K band..

                Comment

                • bring_it_on
                  2005-year of the RAPTOR!!

                  #88
                  In fact, GaN modules are still expensive and huge heat generators.Finally, they found a new "tile" architecture allowing a faster treatment of data (their intent) for a lesser cost. Spectra use them on Rafale F3R. Apparently but i cannot confirm, GaN modules are used only for LEA and K band..
                  The cost of GaN is brought down by producing lot of it and bringing economies of scale just as it was done with GaAs components. Sustained production at high volume can do wonders for cost and production effeciency. There has to be a little cooperation between operators who demand "similar" materials so that each can benefit from the other's needs around a particular application such as EW or high frequency radars. The PEMD Next Gen Jammer - MB prototype that Raytheon and USN had on the range back in 2014 also utilized tile architecture which is now fairly common across various AESA applications especially where space if a constraint. Northrop Grumman's flying and scalable Vanguard also utilizes tile architecture. Choice of the architecture and packaging is usually independent of the cost of the semiconductor or the decision to go with GaAs or GaN material and has more to do with the space, packaging prowess, scalability etc.

                  Originally posted by NGJ-MB
                  The pod is an aluminum structure with a wideband radome in the front and rear of the pod. Both radomes are identical. The equipment internal to the pod includes the AESA (located in the forward radome), the array power supply (APS, located just behind the AESA), a submerged Ram Air Turban-Generator (RAT-G), a liquid cooling system (LCS), and an instrumentation system. The AESA meets all of the requirements mentioned above for EW missions. This array is uniquely capable of operating full power continuous wave (CW) (100% duty cycle) for transmit. It is also capable of pulsed operation, switching very rapidly between transmit and receive at any duty cycle.

                  The AESA is very wide band with active transmit-receive (T/R) modules in tile configuration that contain efficient high-power GaN amplifiers in the transmit path, and low-noise amplifiers in the receive path. Both paths contain phase shifters and gain control elements. The wideband array enables the spectrum agility and access needed for Spectrum Maneuver Warfare. The array is mounted on the front of the pod. The dual-polarized aperture elements enable the system polarization to be selectable. The array contains a digital controller that communicates with the MFIRES software defined receiver/exciter unit (SDREU) and sends digital signals to each module setting up the parameters that control the AESA beam (beam pointing angle, polarization, frequency, etc.)
                  Last edited by bring_it_on; 18th November 2018, 20:57.
                  Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                  Comment

                  • kirtap
                    Rank 5 Registered User

                    #89
                    Vnomad Giraffe 4A entered service with an undisclosed customer in 2016

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                    • TomcatViP
                      Rank 5 Registered User

                      #90
                      Don't forget the Israeli and their G550 CAEW:

                      G550 CAEW had already been delivered to the Israeli Air Force and another leading Air Force. The latest delivery was to the Italian Air Force, which included a fully NATO interoperable communications suite, IFF system and a newly designed AESA Radar based on Gallium Nitride (GaN) technologies.
                      Source:
                      AviationWeek

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                      • JSR
                        JSR
                        Rank 5 Registered User

                        #91
                        The equipment maker for GaN is in Germany.
                        https://www.reuters.com/article/us-a...-idUSKBN13G0OI
                        U.S. fears over sensitive compound hits Chinese bid for Aixtron

                        Gallium nitride, a powdery yellow compound used in light-emitting diodes (LED), radar, antennas and lasers, is grown using Aixtron-manufactured technology, which has in the past been sold to U.S. military equipment maker Northrop Grumman NOC.N..

                        The same firm has provided industrial equipment for Russian space industry.
                        https://www.aixtron.com/en/investors...%20system_n348
                        Saturn JSC expands solar cell production in Russia with further AIXTRON MOCVD system

                        wide application in communication, radar, EW with smaller size.
                        http://eng.sozvezdie.su/news/r1_p/co...loped_first_1/
                        The use of the developed 10-Watt Gallium Nitride transistor in SHF special- and dual-purpose equipment decreases mass-dimensional characteristics of end products, - said Dmitry Kozhanov, director general of JCS Research Institute for Electrotechnology. The invention could be used in equipment operating at up to 6 GHz frequency with 28 V power supply voltage, for example, in radio communication systems, radar equipment and EW facilities.

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                        • eagle1
                          Rank 5 Registered User

                          #92
                          It is not surprising to first GaN application on EW for fighter jets. The rafale had GaAs Antennas for Spectra long befor the AESA radar in 2013. The same applies with GaN which found its way on the F3R standard (now validated) with Spectra but GaN for radar and conformal arrays are for the next standard (F4) around 2023-2025.

                          Comment

                          • eagle1
                            Rank 5 Registered User

                            #93
                            From Aviation Week :

                            France has also announced big investments for Rafale. Dassault has already inducted the first of the French Navy Rafale F1-standard aircraft to begin an upgrade to the latest service configuration, F3-04T, which includes the active, electronically scanned array (AESA) version of the RBE2 radar and the DDM-NG missile-warning system. The program goal is to retain all the aircraft in service through rolling upgrades, the company says.

                            The DDM-NG, part of the Thales/MBDA Spectra defensive avionics suite, comprises two imaging infra-red sensors located on either side of the fighters fin-tip pod, each with a hemispherical field of view and jointly providing full spherical coverage other than the area blanked by the fighters wing. Its ability to detect and track other targets, such as aircraft, is classified, according to Dassault.

                            In January, the French defense ministry awarded Dassault a contract for the next major Rafale upgrade, known as F3-R.

                            It includes more powerful processors and upgrades to the Multi-functional Information Distribution System-Low Volume Terminal datalink and the automatic ground collision avoidance system.

                            For tactical and strategic reconnaissance missions, F3-R will include in-cockpit replay and analysis of imagery from the Thales Areos long-range oblique photography (Lorop) reconnaissance pod. The Rafale pilot or weapon system operator will be able to review imagery without interrupting the pods collection process.

                            The upgrade will also see a series of improvements to Spectra. Developed by Thales and MBDA, Spectra is a fully automated system that provides electromagnetic detection, laser and missile warning, jamming and four chaff/flare dispensers. French industry sources say that during operations over Libya in 2011, Rafale literally disappeared from the radar screens of the Libyan air force, performing soft kills on enemy radar systems [already related in one of the lastest issue of FOX3].

                            Bruno Carrara, director of the Rafale program at Thales, says the F3-R upgrade will involve a more advanced electromagnetic detection capability based on new digital wide-band-receiver technologies, improving the suites spectrum analysis as well as its instantaneous interception capability.

                            Thales will also update Spectras solid-state jamming subsystem, which was one of the first to use electronically steered phased-array antennas. Carrara says for F3R, Spectra will include more powerful antennas, while further increasing the power supply so that more threats can be jammed simultaneously. Like Saab, Thales will use GaN technology because of its power and efficiency.


                            Since the late 1990s, Spectras designers have dropped hints that the system can perform active cancellationreceiving a radar signal and mimicking the aircrafts echo exactly one-half wavelength out of phase so the radar sees nothing.

                            Carrara again implies that such a capability is in use: There are other strategies, such as generating signals that will encompass or be higher than the echo from the aircraft, so that the radar threat will receive a signal that will mask the echo from the aircraft, Carrara says. Instead of creating a false echo and drawing the radar to the wrong place, the idea is to produce a signal that will mask the echo of the aircraft, so the radar will be unable to detect the aircraft Spectra is protecting.[...]

                            Comment

                            • bring_it_on
                              2005-year of the RAPTOR!!

                              #94
                              It is not surprising to first GaN application on EW for fighter jets. The rafale had GaAs Antennas for Spectra long befor the AESA radar in 2013. The same applies with GaN which found its way on the F3R standard (now validated) with Spectra but GaN for radar and conformal arrays are for the next standard (F4) around 2023-2025.
                              That is a logical trend and is in line in what others like SAAB and Boeing are doing as well on the Gripen and F-15. Airborne FCR applications will come with time when someone spends the capital required to switch production fully and is willing to pay costs to address power and cooling needs for better performance. I actually see more power and space sensitive applications on UAV/UCAVs going the GaN radar route first out of necessity more than anything else.
                              Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                              Comment

                              • eagle1
                                Rank 5 Registered User

                                #95
                                Agree with that. I guess the F3R will be one of the first to field such a EW system on frontline units with deliveries due to India and French air force ?
                                GaN radar with conformal arrays should be a significant improvement with the F4 standard, especially for more offensive jamming.

                                Comment

                                • halloweene
                                  Rank 5 Registered User

                                  #96
                                  New deal between Germany and France. Studies about architecture of FCAS system and demonstrator building to be signed by mid june.

                                  https://twitter.com/ChDefense/status...86695835914241

                                  Comment

                                  • eagle1
                                    Rank 5 Registered User

                                    #97
                                    New engine study is part of the deal, that's some good news.

                                    Comment

                                    • JSR
                                      JSR
                                      Rank 5 Registered User

                                      #98
                                      It's just study. Unless there is firm agreement with time table of monetary spending from Germany . I put that link in previous post tabout GaN equipment manufactures that almost sold to Chinese and that was 2016.

                                      Comment

                                      • BlackArcher
                                        Rank 5 Registered User

                                        #99
                                        France and Germany agree on next gen fighter design studies



                                        Now this image of the Airbus next gen fighter concept looks a fair bit different from the SCAF design that Dassault unveiled..especially the stabilizers. I guess the studies will reveal which design is more suitable and more feasible as well.

                                        Comment

                                        • TomcatViP
                                          Rank 5 Registered User

                                          Beyond the presence of verticals, notice also the twin seat cockpit arrangement and comfortable nose volume: two choices of configuration that will impact heavily on the future capabilities of the aircraft.

                                          It's all about the level of signature they want to reach. If both aircraft have the same targeted performances then the suppression of rudders will be a hard choice to justify operationally. It seems that for now we are in the free shot phase where each team make promises.

                                          Glad that we will have a (remote?) chance to see a demonstrator.
                                          Last edited by TomcatViP; 21st November 2018, 21:34.

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