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Discover how EaglePicher and Saab drive innovation in military aerospace with lithium-ion technology for the Gripen E-Series fighter aircraft.

Maria Guerra, Senior Editor-Battery Technology

October 3, 2023

2 Min Read
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Gripen-E series fighter aircraft.Courtesy of Saab

In the constantly evolving landscape of military aerospace, technological advancements often hold the key to achieving superiority on the battlefield. Among the most transformative innovations of recent years, lithium-ion batteries have emerged as a game-changer. Their inclusion in military aircraft has not only revolutionized power systems but has also enhanced mission capabilities, resilience, and operational efficiency.

In a pivotal breakthrough, EaglePicher—an American-owned and operated battery technology company—announced that Saab had selected them to lead the design and production of a lithium-ion battery for the Saab Gripen E-series fighter aircraft. This strategic decision indicates a significant leap forward for military aviation, introducing lithium-ion battery technology to enhance the performance and capabilities of the Saab Gripen E-series fighter.

Over the years, EaglePicher has stood out for its pioneering efforts in lithium-ion technology, notably with the development of lithium-ion batteries for the B-2 stealth bomber. Rich Hunter, CEO of EaglePicher, aptly encapsulates the significance of this collaboration: “EaglePicher’s legacy is in aviation and aerospace. We are thrilled to partner with the talented team at Saab on this innovative aircraft.”

New Gripen E-series lithium-ion battery

The lithium-ion batteries tailored for the Gripen E-series are the backbone of the aircraft's power systems, boosting redundancy and resilience in critical situations. These batteries are tasked with powering mission-critical avionics and weapon systems in cold-weather combat environments.

According to EaglePicher, these new 24-volt, 36 amp-hour lithium-ion batteries include integrated battery charging, advanced performance power electronics technology, and an integrated battery management system with a bi-directional communication bus enabling enhanced pilot and maintenance situational awareness. The batteries are qualified to the highest FAA safety standards (RTCA DO-311A) and software standards (RTCA DO178, DAL A).

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EaglePicher is changing and adjusting its unique chemical and cell designs initially used in the Joint Strike Fighter's backup battery system. If the engine fails, this system provides power to essential avionics and flight controls. These modifications are poised to elevate the Gripen E-series' operational performance and safety, enabling it to undertake specialized military missions in the harshest and most demanding environmental conditions.

Collaborations between battery technology innovators and aerospace industry leaders, as demonstrated by the partnership between EaglePicher and Saab, are propelling innovation and progress in the field of military aerospace. The future of battery technology in military aerospace appears promising, with each new partnership highlighting a commitment to advancing national security through pioneering innovations.

About the Author(s)

Maria Guerra

Senior Editor-Battery Technology, Informa

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