Leading the way with Gallium nitride technology

Photo: Tobias Persson and Peter Andersson from Saab accept the Aviation Week Laureate Award

Photo: Tobias Persson and Peter Andersson from Saab accept the Aviation Week Laureate Award

Recently Saab won the prestigious Aviation Week Laureate Award for bringing gallium nitride (GaN) electronics to military radar and electronic-warfare systems, introducing the technology into products for delivery in 2016.

In early March Saab received the award, dubbed the Oscars of the defence and aviation industries, for bringing GaN technology to the market through the new members of the extended Giraffe surface radar family, as well Electronic Warfare. “This is further acknowledgement Saab is world leading in active electronically scanned array (AESA) technology for surface and airborne radar and electronic warfare”, remarked Micael Johansson, head of Saab business area Electronic Defence Systems.

GaN is a semi-conductive material currently under intensive development. Areas of use include LED-lights and Blu-ray components, and now it is also being incorporated into microwave applications in the military industry. GaN technology is already included in the new members of Saab’s extended surface radar family, which were launched in 2014. GaN gives higher power efficiently, higher output power and is a more robust material for chip design. This allows an extended range through higher output and higher reliability.

Saab will be one of the first to take this technology to the market, with Giraffe 4A set to be delivered in 2016.

Saab has been working with GaN for a number of years, with Chalmers university of technology and the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) as important contributors in the long-term development of GaN. Saab is also participating in research programmes in the European Union.