Saft Awarded For US Army’s Ground Combat Hybrid Vehicle Battery Development

The U.S. Army is going toward having hybrid-powered tanks as part of its operational fleet and the vehicle is in the development phase.

BAE Systems has awarded Saft with $1.3 million in new funding for the continued development of a lithium-ion (li-ion) energy storage system for the U.S. Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program.

Saft, which is designing and building ultra-high-power cells for the vehicle’s hybrid electric drive system, says it has already completed the demo battery system including hardware and software.

The GCV is part of a growing list of military vehicle prototypes for which Saft has supplied advanced energy storage solutions (ESS). The new funding for the GCV project is an addition to the initial 2010 contract.

The GCV is designed as a nine-man Infantry Carrier that can protect against threats, move in urban and off-road terrain and accommodate emerging technologies such as lightweight armor composites and electronics.

Comprised of ultra-high-power, high-voltage VL 5U cells, the Li-ion ESS supports the GCV’s electric drive system when the vehicle is not running on gasoline, such as during silent watch missions.

The ESS system that will be part of this U.S. Army GCV employs green technologies which improves vehicle fuel consumption and improves weight savings.

Saft says its proposed ESS reduces the program cost and provides a highly reliable product by leveraging already developed subsystems and components from other qualified system to use on the GCV program.

The BAE Systems GCV team includes Saft, Northrop Grumman, iRobot, MTU, and Qinetiq North America; it is one of two industry teams working on the technology development phase of the program.

The 24-month technology development phase is aimed at completing preliminary design reviews in order build prototype systems prior to the engineering and manufacturing phase.

Saft has also been awarded a major five year contract by the US Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) to supply the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps with BA 5590 lithium sulfur dioxide (Li-SO2) batteries.

Saft says the BA 5590 batteries are used in different portable military applications such as military radios and surveillance equipment. Saft also says the BA 5590 batteries provide a long lasting, lightweight and reliable power source for the Army’s critical missions.

This contract was awarded to Saft for 100 percent of the U.S. military needs for this type of battery.