SFC Energy has received a low-rate initial production (LRIP) order for the supply of a next-generation fuel cell system (NGFC) for defence applications.

Under the €1.3m contract, the company will produce, test, and deliver units to the customer, whose identity will remain undiclosed.

The system is expected to be used by the customer as the source for reliably powering their unmanned devices in the field.

SFC Energy CEO Dr Peter Podesser said: "Our experience in successfully deploying our products for military forces in recent years has helped to expand our potential customer base for governments across the world.

"Our fielded fuel cells have an excellent international track record in providing silent, non-detectable power to vehicle based and stationary off-grid defence applications.

"The NGFC will continue this track record and be an integral part of our defence business going forward."

Designed and developed under a joint development agreement (JDA), the NFGC is a fully integrated power source for off-grid defence applications in unmanned scenarios in the theatre.

The system is expected to power stationary off-grid applications automatically for extended periods of time without requiring any user intervention due to high-energy density of the methanol fuel.

"Our fielded fuel cells have an excellent international track record in providing silent, non-detectable power."

The ability to power an application for long time intervals without the user intervention makes the fuel cell the a suitable power source for a variety of covert and undercover scenarios.

Expected to be based on SFC’s proven and tested fuel cell architecture, the NGFC will also reliably charge batteries off-vehicle as field charger.

SFC’s fuel cells, EMILY and JENNY, have already been qualified and officially cleared for military usage by the German Armed Forces.

As part of the JDA and the LRIP order, the company will optimise the fuel cell system, as well as all individual components for maximum lifetime, safety, and reliability.

Image: SFC’s fuel cell EMILY has already been qualified and cleared for use by the German military. Photo: courtesy of SFC.