Saft joins BAE Systems' GCV team
Saft has been awarded $1.3 million in new funding by BAE Systems to continue the development of a Lithium‐ion (Li‐ion) energy storage system for the technology development (TD) phase of the US Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) programme. Saft, which is designing and building ultra‐high‐power cells for the vehicle’s hybrid electric drive system, has already completed the demo battery system including hardware and software.
BAE Systems leads one of two industry teams working on the TD phase of the programme. The 24‐month TD phase is aimed at completing preliminary design reviews in order build prototype systems prior to the engineering and manufacturing phase.
BAE’s team includes Northrop Grumman, iRobot, MTU, and Qinetiq North America; and should the team be selected as the army’s design and manufacturing partner, this contract means Saft will likely be the battery supplier when production begins in 2019.
The GCV is part of a growing list of military vehicle prototypes for which Saft has supplied advanced energy storage solutions (ESS). The GCV is a nine‐man infantry carrier that can protect against threats, move in urban and off‐road terrain and accommodate emerging technologies such as lightweight armour 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 employs green technologies which improves vehicle fuel consumption and improves weight savings. Saft’s proposed ESS reduces the programme cost and provides a highly reliable product by leveraging already developed subsystems and components from other qualified system to use on the GCV programme.
Tom Alcide, general manager of Saft’s Specialty Battery Group, said: ‘Saft is proud to continue working with BAE Systems and its partners on the GCV programme. This project is a testament to BAE Systems’ long‐standing support of Saft and our expertise in designing and building state‐of‐the‐art batteries that meet the demands of modern, sophisticated military vehicles.’
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