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© Rocket Lab
Electronics Production |

Rocket Lab bags $23.9m in state aid to boost production

The US Commerce Department will grant $23.9 million to Rocket Lab to accelerate the production of compound semiconductors at its Albuquerque plant by 50% over the next three years.

The funds will mostly come from the Biden administration's USD 52.7 billion CHIPS and Science subsidy program. However the State of New Mexico has committed assistance and incentives worth USD 25.5 million. The proposed investment could create more than 100 manufacturing jobs, the company said in a statement.

Rocket Lab specialises in the production of radiation resistant compound semiconductors called space-grade solar cells. They are crucial for keeping communication and space technology powered and operational, and are in demand from from the US military, NASA and the commercial space industry. The company's products can be found in the James Webb Space Telescope, NASA's Artemis lunar explorations, Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, and Mars Insight Lander.

“For more than two decades the SolAero team, now part of Rocket Lab, has played a crucial role in the domestic production of semiconductors,” Peter Beck, CEO of Rocket Lab, said in a statement. “This program is a continuation of our commitment to ensuring resilient US supply chains and creating highly productive local jobs.”

The award is the first under the CHIPS program devoted primarily for space-related semiconductor production. BAE Systems received a USD 35 million CHIPS grant in December 2023 to increase production of semiconductors for defence and aerospace applications.


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June 13 2024 1:49 pm V22.4.55-1