Textron Systems Unmanned Systems has awarded a contract to French advanced technology battery maker Saft for integrated charger batteries (ICBs) to power its next-generation universal ground control stations (UGCS).

The lithium-ion batteries are expected to be a back-up power source for stations controlling unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

Saft designs light-weight 28V ICBs, which deliver 100 amp hours, and can reduce the overall size of the required system.

"We look to trusted industry partners like Saft to deliver solutions."

The batteries are designed to activate during a power failure, allowing UGCS to carry out critical UAS control missions without interruption.

Textron claims that UGCS is designed to be a joint services solution, which incorporates a flexible, scalable architecture to meet current and future requirements for the US Department of Defense.

Saft has been providing ICBs to Textron Systems since 2010, and is working to apply the technology to other applications.

Textron Systems Unmanned Systems vice-president Wayne Prender said: "Our UGCS incorporates features and technologies for joint services interoperability, mission flexibility, scalability, and ease of use, making it universally capable for the future force.

"That’s why we look to trusted industry partners like Saft to deliver solutions, especially their ICB, to ensure our soldiers can complete the mission, regardless of its circumstances."