Powering products for military environments
Raytheon UK’s Integrated Power Solutions help reduce waste and increase reliability for mission critical operations
Historically, the production and operation of defence systems has consumed a ton of energy. With the use of power-draining technology in vehicles and aircraft rapidly increasing, power availability and reliability is a growing concern. But it does not have to be.
As the defence sector continues to rely on energy-intensive platforms and equipment, innovation in power management systems have played a crucial part in ensuring that the sector reduces waste and uses resilient, reliable products. Power solutions for military systems are expected to meet a growing range of different challenges: from reliability, high-power density and consistent performance to increasing demands for small size and weight. To meet some of these challenges, Raytheon UK manufactures a range of integrated power solutions for military platforms from its facility in Glenrothes, Scotland.
“We pride ourselves on our ability to provide high-efficiency and high-power density complex power solutions for the aerospace, defence and industrial markets,” said Toby Marshall, head of Business Development and Power Sensors at Raytheon UK. “Whether on land, sea, air or space, hundreds of thousands of our products are in operation around the world, made in Scotland.”
For more than 25 years, Raytheon UK has manufactured electronic systems designed to withstand challenging military operating environments where high current, power density and temperature are key factors to system performance. The company produces power subsystems and components that can be used on land, naval and air applications for military platforms including the UK’s Ajax scout vehicle and the F/A-18 fighter jet.
The business is continuously looking to innovate and provide products that increase the efficiency of a customer’s end systems and reduce the number of replaceable parts, thereby improving the reliability of the products.
For example, Raytheon UK recently developed a primary power converter that allows vehicle batteries to recharge as well as serve as the power source for systems. The bi-directional primary power convertor is one of a number of power conversion products that the company has developed to withstand harsh, military environments.
This includes two new products that have been designed to meet the challenges of reliability, efficiency, and sustainability. The Solid-State Switch (S3) is a power switching device that is used to control high power systems. The device has a “mean time between failure” of over 130,000 hours which means that it can be out in the field for that length of time before needing repair, enabling customers to operate the system for longer.
As well as the S3, Raytheon UK has also developed the Lightweight Power Switch Node. Based on the existing vehicle power management system currently in use on platforms like the Ajax vehicle, the new lightweight version was designed in response to customer needs for a lighter and more cost-effective product.
“Through our innovation, we have pioneered the move to solid-state switching and that has enabled our products to become lighter and more reliable,” Marshall said. “The S3 and Lightweight Power Switch Node builds on our experience of manufacturing resilient and smart power subsystems and components.”
Both products will be produced and manufactured from Glenrothes and Livingstone in Scotland, sustaining employment and continuing Raytheon UK's investment in the region.
"These two new products will be fundamental to growing Raytheon UK's presence in Scotland, which began over 60 years ago", added Marshall. "They will help to maintain our role as a manufacturing leader in resilient and smart power management systems and help our customer base reduce waste and increase efficiency."