30 September 2016
SAN DIEGO – Special Forces combat submarine designers at Lockheed Martin Corp. needed lithium-ion batteries for U.S. military mini-submarines. They found their solution from the General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems segment in San Diego.
General Atomics Electromagnetic has signed a contract with the Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems segment in Riviera Beach, Fla., to provide lithium-ion fault tolerant (LiFT) battery systems for use on the Dry Combat Submersible (DCS) mini-submarine that will transport military combat divers in a dry environment.
The General Atomics battery system will power the DCS propulsion and internal support systems, company officials say. The General Atomics LiFT battery "provides the energy needed to safely propel and power the DCS at the distances and depths required to deliver personnel to their mission destination," says Scott Forney, president of General Atomics Electromagnetic.
Lockheed Martin is designing the DCS as an affordable mini-submarine to transport Special Operations combat swimmers such as Navy SEALs covertly while minimizing swim time to keep the divers from becoming too exhausted to carry out their missions.
Lockheed Martin is building the DCS under supervision of the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. Lockheed Martin is building an affordable DCS version based on commercially available technologies, rather than developing Special Forces mini-submarines from scratch.
The DCS will operate from combat support surface ships or submarines, and will deliver special operations warfighters to their mission areas ready to fight, rather than exhausted by long swims.
The General Atomics LiFT battery systems have built-in single-cell fault tolerance to prevent uncontrolled and catastrophic cascading cell failure. This not only ensures the safety of any on-board personnel, but also ensures systems continue to operate through faults. Last April General Atomics demonstrated the LiFT battery system at sea on a Special Forces undersea vehicle.