In a previous issue (n°2329 -5th october), A&C reveals the forthcoming introduction of GaN on a new Spectra prototype in 2014.
Why now ? Next year, a new production line should be qualified by UMS for GaN semi conductors working in X-band. Up to now, they only produced S-band components.
The current Spectra (and the coming RBE-2 AA) uses GaAs components, which are already pushed to their upper limit. Compared with this, GaN should be 2 to 5 times more powerful, and also works in wider bandwidth, and better efficiency.
Because the production will progressively improve with time, the first application for Rafale will be the development of a new Spectra prototype in 2014 (PEA Incas).
And, later, maybe, new conformal arrays for the radar...