Saft has been awarded a contract for delivery of e6T Li-ion battery systems for the US Army and Marine Corps' multi-billion dollar Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) development programme.
A total of 59 batteries will be supplied by the company for vehicle prototypes currently being manufactured by Lockheed Martin, as part of the $66.3m JLTV engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase contract awarded by the army in August 2012.
Saft Specialty Battery Group general manager Thomas Alcide said the JLTV programme contract provides the company with an opportunity to deliver solutions to the US military.
"The programme will safeguard the service personnel and help save lives, while offering high performance and value for money," Alcide added.
Featuring an advanced, lightweight design like that of a legacy lead-acid battery, the e6T Li-ion battery is designed to provide power for starting the engine, lights and ignition, and silent watch missions, as well as offering critical front-line power to recharge personal electronics, such as night sights and GPS devices.
Supporting easy integration into the vehicle and self-shutdown in unsafe conditions, the 25.5V battery is fitted with CANBus communications technology that can transmit critical information, including state-of-charge, cell voltages and temperatures, as well as battery diagnostics.
Awarded to three companies, including Oshkosh Defense and AM General, the EMD contract seeks production and delivery of 22 prototypes by each recipient within 12 to 14 months from the date of award, as well as support during government testing and evaluation of the prototypes.
The contract shares for Oshkosh and AM General amount to $56.4m and $64.5m respectively.
Deliveries under the latest contract are scheduled to take place this year.
The JLTV programme is aimed at replacing the US Army and Marine Corps' fleet of ageing high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles, which have been in active service for over 25 years.
Image: Lockheed Martin's proposed vehicle for the US Army and Marine Corps' JLTV programme. Photo: Courtesy of Lockheed Martin.