Working to Improve ALPS battery for the Long-Range Advanced Scout Surveillance System
Saft has been awarded a one-year, $1.2 million contract by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) to make manufacturing improvements to the Advanced Lithium Power Source (ALPS) battery, the compact energy storage unit with integrated charger developed as a portable energy source in the field.
The funding will advance the technical and manufacturing readiness of the ALPS battery for use in a variety of applications, including the Long-Range Advanced Scout Surveillance System (LRAS3). The LRAS3 is a high-tech, multi-sensor system that detects, recognizes, identifies and pinpoints long-range target locations in virtually any conditions. The improved ALPS battery will provide a lower cost, lightweight power source with a longer lifecycle and quicker recharging capacity.
Saft will provide 10 ALPS batteries to the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development, and Engineering Center (CERDEC). Some units will be supplied to the U.S. Army Product Manager, Ground Sensors, for field testing. Improvements to the ALPS will enable Saft to manufacture and market the battery for additional defense applications.
The new ALPS battery will adapt components of the highly successful Lithium Battery Box (LBB) for the Improved Target Acquisition System Lithium Battery Box (ITAS) developed for the TOW missile system. The ALPS integrated charger version will offer 24 to 28V and consist of a 100 Amp hour energy storage unit with built-in charging functionality compatible with 28V MIL vehicle batteries and AC generators.
Compared to the current LRAS3 power sources, the improved ALPS system will be lighter by 187 pounds, provide a 200 percent increase in silent watch time and reduce recharging time by 300 percent. The system will be capable of serving as a remote energy source, able to power critical sighting and communications equipment and recharge from tactical vehicles.
“The ALPS battery will provide greater power capacity, speed and efficiencies in the field which are crucial to mission success for our military personnel,” states Thomas Alcide, GM, Saft’s Specialty Battery Group. “Saft is proud that this contract and our partnership with the Defense Logistics Agency will result in manufacturing improvements that will meet additional tactical needs in the future.”