Saft, the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of high-tech industrial batteries, announced that it has won a contract with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) to provide a megawatt-class Li-ion battery system to power a high-energy laser application.
GA-ASI was awarded a multi-million dollar contract from DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Project Agency) to develop a demonstration laser weapons system, which seeks to create a 150-kilowatt, solid-state laser weapon weighing less than one ton. The first and largest portable 150 kW laser of its kind, the system will be supported by Saft’s advanced Li-ion battery technology, capable of delivering high-level power and energy.
“We are thrilled to have been chosen as the battery manufacturer to support this 150 kW laser program,” said Thomas Alcide, general manager of Saft’s Specialty Battery Group. “This is a tremendous opportunity for Saft to demonstrate its expertise in building complex, high-power battery systems for directed energy applications.”
Saft’s battery system consists of a number of very high-power cells to support the program’s laser. The underlying technology is particularly innovative because it involves a highly powered, yet compact, battery that also features a complete electronics management system. Delivery is slated to begin in June 2012.