Saft has announced that it will supply ECA with a lithium-ion battery system to power the French Navy’s Guerre des Mine Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), which is currently under development.

The Li-ion battery system will enable the new demonstrator AUV to stay submerged for a long period of time while cruising at 7.4km/h. Saft considers Li-ion to be the only battery technology capable of providing this combination of endurance and power within the restricted space of an AUV’s design.

This new order for the Guerre des Mines AUV follows the success of the Li-ion battery systems that the company previously supplied for GESMA’s Redermor-3 experimental Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) platform and ECA’s Daurade AUV.

The 135V, 23kWh battery system, will power the propulsion and electronics systems. Saft will supply a fully integrated, turn-key system that will include mechanical assembly, an electronic control management system for the monitoring of charge and discharge voltages and cell temperatures and EMC filtering.

ECA’s project manager Mr Meltzheim said: ‘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.’

Saft will deliver the battery system in September 2008.