tAnn Arbor based-Advanced Photonix announced today that is has received a $1.6 million contract to build a custom photodiode for the U.S. Navy’s Guided Missile Weapon System. The photodiode, which converts light into current, will serve as a detector on the missile’s proximity sensor.
tThe Navy’s Guided Missile Weapon System is the world’s most modern ship self-defense weapon, says Richard Kurtz, Advanced Photonix’s president and CEO. The missile is a supersonic, lightweight, quick-reaction, fire-and-forget missile designed to destroy anti-ship missiles.
t“This vital missile program has been one of the Navy’s most reliable missile guided systems, and we are proud to have been a part of this successful endeavor,” Kurtz says. “This is an ongoing program which we have been fortunate to have for the past 15 years and expect this program to continue into the future."
tIdeally, the ship's missile will strike the enemy's incoming missile, but the proximity sensors are there to ensure that, if there is not a direct heads-on hit, the Navy’s missile will detonate as it passes by the incoming missile protecting the fleet below, Kurtz says.
tThe RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile was developed as a cooperative program between the U.S. and German governments and continues to be cooperatively produced and supported. There are two RIM-116 configurations: Block 1A and Block 2. Advanced Photonix is supplying its photodiodes for the latter, which is currently in low rate initial production and undergoing developmental and operational testing.
tIn fiscal year 2014, Advanced Photonix generated revenue of $29 million, 9 percent of which stemmed from military and aerospace contracts. In addition to missile guidance, the company’s technology serves the military by providing components for satellite positioning, laser range finders, and navigation.
tThe company anticipates that the contract, along with the absence of government sequestration this fiscal year, will result in greater revenue. The custom photodiode is expected to be completed within the next 18 months.