Extension of the Microwave Factory for high-performance electronics
Preparing for future growth
27 May 2010 – EADS Defence & Security (DS) has invested in an extension to its Microwave Factory (MWF) in Ulm and has thus increased its high-tech capacity for specialised high-performance electronics, e.g. next generation radars, to reach a leading level worldwide.
In this context, Defence Electronics, an integrated activity of DS, has invested 1.5 million euros to extend its skills and capacity for the production of high-frequency modules under clean-room conditions. From the beginning of this year the Microwave Factory now has about 2,000 square metres of clean-room space available. Approximately 200 employees are working here on the development and production of high-frequency and microwave modules which are intended, in particular, for the self-protection system of the European Eurofighter combat aircraft or for the TerraSAR-X satellite radar.
“Investing in the Microwave Factory is one of our activities helping us to secure our future as a global leader in security electronics,” explains Bernd Wenzler, Head of the Ulm site. “This is because top-level skills in high-performance electronics are a prerequisite for further improvements in our competitive situation.”
For example, EADS Defence & Security’s Microwave Factory at Ulm holds a leading position worldwide in the series production of the so-called transmit/receive (T/R) modules for the new active phased array radars, with electronic beam scanning. These key components give the radars a hitherto unprecedented performance. They are being built in Ulm in large quantities and extremely good quality, as the Ulm staff is currently able to demonstrate with a large order for 30,000 modules for the MEADS air defence system.
“These unique abilities, together with very close links between development and production within a single organisation, give Ulm’s Microwave Factory a special competitive advantage. None of our European competitors combines all of these skills from a single source,” emphasises Bernd Wenzler. “This is why we are very optimistic about a whole series of open tenders. We are now pretty well prepared for these new challenges.”
At EADS Defence & Security’s Ulm location, about 3,000 employees are working on complex security electronics such as radars, digital radio systems or jammers. 60 per cent of the staff, which is a large proportion compared with the industry average, are engineers.
DS is a systems solutions provider for armed forces and civil security worldwide. Its portfolio ranges from sensors and secure networks through missiles to aircraft and UAVs as well as global security, service and support solutions. In 2009, DS – with around 21,000 employees – achieved revenues of € 5.4 billion. EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2009, EADS generated revenues of € 42.8 billion and employed a workforce of about 119,000.
Investing 1.5 million euros allowed EADS Defence & Security to extend the clean-room capacity of its Microwave Factory at the Ulm location for the production of microwave modules.
Lothar Belz Tel.: +49 (0)731.392.3681