Saft are to supply lithium-ion batteries to BAE Systems for use in its Talisman ‘M’ autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV).

According to Saft, lithium-ion batteries are preferred for their fast charge times, high-energy capacity, excellent power/volume ratio and long service life without maintenance. The Talisman vehicles will be equipped with two or four battery pods depending on their application.

Each of the 320V-45Ah batteries will be made up of Saft VL45E cells, specifically designed to provide high performance from a compact lightweight unit. They will have an integrated management system that equalises the charging process across the cells and provides safety monitoring and security. It also feeds data to the vehicle’s main on-board computer.

Saft’s lithium-ion power system, in its basic configuration, can deliver up to 24 hours of continuous performance. The batteries can also be recharged on the surface by an integral miniature 3hp diesel engine, extending its range and performance.

Talisman can operate at depths of up to 300m and works independently, undertaking a variety of often-dangerous missions. The vehicle is based on a carbon fibre composite hull that contains its electronics systems and payload. Its thruster pods allow it to hover, and make 360 degrees turns within its own length.