Saft has won a contract from ECA, the France-based robotic systems specialist, to supply the lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery system that will power the French Navy's Guerre des Mines mine countermeasures AUV currently under development. The advanced technology Saft Li-ion battery system will enable the new demonstrator AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) to stay submerged for a long period of time while cruising at 4 knots (7.4 km/h) – Li-ion is the only battery technology capable of providing this combination of endurance and power within the restricted space envelope available within the AUV's design.
This new order for the Guerre des Mines AUV follows the success of the Li-ion battery systems that Saft has supplied previously for GESMA's Redermor-3 experimental UUV (Unmanned Underwater Vehicle) platform and ECA’s Daurade AUV.
The 135 V, 23 kWh battery system, which is identical to the battery installed on Daurade, will power the propulsion and electronics systems on Guerre des Mines. It is based on Saft MP 176065 Li-ion cells, and Saft is supplying it as a fully integrated, turn-key system, including mechanical assembly, an electronic control management system for the monitoring of charge and discharge voltages and cell temperatures and EMC filtering.
"ECA has chosen Saft's Li-ion technology to equip its AUV range because it is the best solution in terms of density, energy and mass for this type of cell," said Mr Meltzheim, ECA project manager.
Saft will deliver the Guerre des Mines battery system in September 2008.