Saft has been awarded a multi-million dollar contract from BAE Systems to provide Super-Phosphate batteries for the US Army and US Marine Corps M777A2 Lightweight Howitzer.
The M777, which has been in production since 2002, was selected by the US Marine Corps and the US Army as the next-generation medium-force weapon. The M777A2 Lightweight Howitzer is a 155mm 39 caliber towed gun and innovatively uses titanium and aluminum alloys to meet the requirements for a rapidly deployable and accurate artillery fire support weapon.
Saft’s Super-Phosphate cells will replace previous lead-acid batteries and provide advantages specific to the company’s Li-ion technology. These high-performance cells boast an increased lifecycle, depth of discharge ability and a faster recharge when compared to the traditional lead-acid batteries, reducing the total operational costs. The cells will be integrated with Saft’s field-proven 28V control and power electronics through robust battery enclosures that are designed to withstand the rugged environments of the system.
Overall, Saft will deliver 38 prototypes of its Enhanced Powerpack featuring VL43EFe Super-Phosphate cells during the design qualification stage and 121 during initial production, with the opportunity to increase production up to 1,000 Li-ion batteries. The 28V batteries have a capacity of 80Ah and supply the M777’s fire control system with 10-20 continuous amp loads. It also supplies the weapon’s hydraulic power assistance kit pack (HyPak) with 120 amps for 30-second intermittent load periods.
The contract scope includes design, development, design verification testing and completion of the Navy’s NAVSEA S9310-AQ-SAF-010 and NAVSEA SG270-BV-SAF-010 testing.
To kick-off the three-year contract, delivery of the initial prototypes is set to begin in Q2 of 2014.