Onboard batteries for combat vehicles are becoming more sustainable with the creation of Saft’s lithium-ion (Li-ion) e6T battery system, which has been developed for engine starting, and powering electronic systems, turret drives and silent watch duties.

Saft has built on its long experience of delivering Li-ion battery systems for defence applications with the creation of the e6T – a robust, reliable, lightweight, fast-charging and maintenance-free alternative to the US military’s standard 6T lead-acid battery system. Unlike lead-acid batteries, which can suffer premature failures in the field when subjected to deep discharges or non-optimised charging, the e6T is engineered to withstand at least 1,000 deep discharge cycles. In addition to its long life of at least 2,000 cycles – around five times more than the equivalent lead-acid battery – the e6T’s built-in electronics take care of the battery’s safety and management functions, including fast charging, allowing modern-day armed forces to focus on operations rather than battery maintenance.

The 28V e6T is designed as a direct ‘drop-in’ replacement for lead-acid 6T batteries and comes complete with all the necessary vehicle interfaces. The Li-ion’s construction, however, weighs in at just 22kg (49lb) compared with the average 41kg (90lb) lead-acid battery. Since one e6T has the capability to displace two lead-acid batteries, this weight advantage becomes even greater, not only in terms of operational performance, but also ease of maintenance, storage and transportation.

Saft offers the e6T in a number of versions to meet specific energy and power requirements. The e6T battery delivers up to 10,000W/kg and 100Wh/kg, while a high-energy version, typically aimed at silent watch applications, can offer 180Wh/kg.

Thanks to its superior performance, longer lifecycle, lighter weight and maintenance-free operation, the e6T outflanks
lead-acid batteries on all fronts.