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A Gem Of A Story For Valentine's Day: Making Diamonds To Protect

ANDOVER, Mass., Feb. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Diamonds may no longer be just a girl's best friend. Sixty years after Marilyn Monroe's musical ode to them, the military is showing interest in the synthetic version of these classic gems.

(Photo: )

Sheets of laboratory-grown diamond, combined with the semiconductor gallium nitride (GaN), could someday become the core of future-generation radar, communications and electronic warfare systems. Such components could save huge amounts of electricity, space and fuel.

"Diamonds aren't just pretty," said Ralph Korenstein, who runs Raytheon's diamond laboratory in Andover, Mass. "They have a practical use. You can see farther, you can get more power."

Raytheon's "diamond mine" lies deep inside the Integrated Air Defense Center, the sprawling factory 20 miles northwest of Boston that produces some of Raytheon's best-known products, including the Patriot air and missile defense system and the AN/TPY-2 radar. Click here for a look inside:

The diamond lab is famous among workers at the plant, especially around Valentine's Day.

As Raytheon's diamond operation attracts more attention, Korenstein said he's gotten used to the co-workers who jokingly request earrings or a ring.

"I have people try to put in orders with me," Korenstein said. "But we're not in the jewelry business."

Read the full version of this story and see photos of the diamond lab here:

Media Contact: David Desilets781-522-5855

SOURCE Raytheon Company
Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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