BAE Systems receives funding as part of US drive to boost chip manufacture
BAE Systems will modernise its Microelectronics Center (MEC) in Nashua, New Hampshire, through US$35 million in initial funding provided by the US Department of Commerce (DoC), quadrupling the number of chips the facility can produce.
The funding will come from the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act of 2022. The project will replace aging tools and quadruple the production of chips necessary for critical defence programs including the F-35 fighter aircraft programme, according to the DoC.
MEC has been developing advanced semiconductor technologies beyond those available commercially to meet military standards and has been among one of the few US defence-centric six-inch Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) High Electron Mobility Transistor (HEMT) wafer foundries.
The funding will be coupled with ongoing investment in modernisation and research and development by BAE Systems.
According to the company, ‘the funding will help purchase new, more efficient manufacturing tools to mitigate supply chain risk, increase production capacity, and reduce time-to-build product’.
‘The increased efficiency will enable a scale-up in production to meet increasing demand for DoD technology and provide critical microelectronics to non-defence industries including satellite communications, and test and measurement equipment markets,’ the company claimed.
Tom Arseneault, president and CEO of BAE Systems said the funding would improve the manufacture of microelectronics which will be vital for ‘next-generation aircraft and satellites to military-grade GPS and secure communications’.
‘This funding will help modernise [the MEC and increase] our capacity to serve national defence programmes, growing our technical workforce, and helping to strengthen the nation’s onshore supply chain,’ Arseneault noted.
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