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Advanced Photonix Wins Contract to Provide Custom Photodiodes U.S. Navy Missile Weapons Program

Advanced Photonix, Inc.® announced today that it has received a contract worth approximately $1,600,000 from a leading military contractor, which acts as a prime supplier for the U.S. Navy's Guided Missile Weapon System. The contract is for a custom photodiode and is expected to be completed within the next 18 months, and payment is due upon shipment.

The Navy's Guided Missile Weapon System is the world's most modern ship self-defense weapon and has been specifically designed to provide exceptional protection for ships of all sizes. The specific guided missile is a supersonic, light-weight, quick-reaction, fire-and-forget missile designed to destroy anti-ship missiles. Its autonomous dual-mode passive Radio-Frequency-to-Infrared guidance design requires no shipboard support after the missile is launched. This provides uniquely high-firepower capability for engaging multiple threats simultaneously.

Richard Kurtz, API's President and CEO, said, "We are very pleased to have been awarded this contract. 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. 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."

Photodiodes convert light into current; a conventional solar panel is really just a large area photodiode itself. For this particular purpose, it serves as a detector on the missile's proximity sensor. Because the missile's airframe rotates like a rifle bullet for greater accuracy, the system requires four detectors mounted 90 degrees away from each other. So as the airframe rolls, there is always a detector sensing for proximity.

Ideally, 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.

The RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) is a lightweight, quick-reaction, fire-and-forget missile designed to destroy anti-ship cruise missiles and asymmetric air and surface threats. The RIM-116 RAM was developed as a cooperative program between the U.S. and German governments and continues to be cooperatively produced and supported. Currently, there are two RIM-116 configurations: Block 1A (RIM-116B) and Block 2 (RIM-116C). Block 1A is nearing completion of full rate production. The RAM Block 2 configuration, for which API is supplying its photodiodes, is currently in low rate initial production and undergoing Developmental and Operational Testing.

In addition to missile guidance, API's technology serves the military by providing components for heads-up displays, satellite positioning, laser range finders, and navigation.

In fiscal 2014, military and aerospace contracts generated $2.7 million of API's total revenue of $29.0 million. API anticipates that this contract, along with the absence of government sequestration this fiscal year, will result in greater revenue from these customers.

This project is part of API's Optosolutions line of business that serves not only the military/aerospace industry but also customers in testing and measuring [T&M] as well as the medical market. In the T&M market, API technology is used in such diverse areas as water quality monitoring, the control of seed planting, safety monitoring, currency validation, counterfeit detection, and pyrometry (heat measurement at a distance). Among the uses for API's work in the medical field are immunoassay testing, retina eye diagnostics, pulse oximetry and flow cytometry. The Company estimates that the total addressable market for its optoelectronics is roughly $150 million annually.

In addition to its Optosolutions, API operates a high-speed optical receiver [HSOR] line of business which addresses bandwidth infrastructure demand: Long Haul/Metro 100G and beyond; fiber-to-the-curb (FTTx); cloud computing; 4G/LTE wireless backhaul; and manufacturing test (ComTest) of next generation telecom. The field has an expected CAGR of more than 30%.

API's Terahertz business line is a disruptive technology for non-destructive testing and process control. This includes nuclear gauge replacement and single sensor with multiple measurement devices.


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