Mercury Systems said today it will invest $15 million to expand its microelectronics packaging business.
Mark Aslett, Mercury's chief executive, told Inside Defense the company sees itself as a link between high-tech commercial innovation and the Pentagon.
"How does the Defense Department or defense industry gain access to this critical technology in a way in which they can benefit from that investment or innovation?" he said. "What we're focused on is really becoming that conduit for all of that innovation that’s occurring in the high-tech world."
Mercury, Aslett said, already has a custom microelectronics business in Phoenix that it acquired with the purchase of Microsemi assets in 2016.
"They've got a facility that's already doing the trusted packaging of commercial silicon for use inside of the defense industry," Aslett said. "What we are going to do is expand both the scope initially of what that business can do in terms of the types of silicon it can combine together . . . and, over time, we’ll be seeking to actually expand the scale, meaning the capacity of that business as well."
He said the company plans to focus on expanding the scope in its fiscal year 2020, which started in July. The $15 million investment will go toward that effort.
"What we're enabling are dramatic SWAP -- size, weight and power -- improvements," Aslett said.
He told Inside Defense the company is refurbishing part of an existing facility to support the scope improvements and will be making new hires as well.
In FY-21, Mercury plans to focus on growing the scale of the business.
Mercury said Thomas Smelker, a vice president and general manager at the company, will lead the effort.