ST. LOUIS – Military aircraft designers at Saab AB needed lithium-ion batteries for backup power aboard the company's JAS 39 Gripen E-series jet fighter. They found their solution from EaglePicher Technologies in St. Louis.
Saab has awarded EaglePicher a contract to design and develop a 24-volt lithium-ion battery for the Gripen E-series fighter aircraft. This is the first of its kind lithium-ion battery used on Saab’s aircraft, company officials say. EaglePicher also has developed lithium-ion power for military aircraft like the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth strategic bomber.
The EaglePicher lithium-ion batteries will power avionics and weapon systems aboard the JAS 39 Gripen jet fighters while delivering power for engine start in cold-weather. EaglePicher is developing these 24 volt, 36 amp-hour lithium-ion main and emergency batteries to redundancy on the JAS 39 Gripen E-series combat aircraft.
These batteries, designed specifically for the Gripen, feature extreme low-temperature capability and extended operational life cycles for extended service time on wing and reduced maintenance.
The batteries include integrated battery charging and advanced power electronics technology as well as an integrated battery management system with bi-directional communications bus.
EaglePicher is modifying and adapting its specialized electrochemistry and cell designs first introduced on the U.S. F-35 joint strike fighter’s emergency battery system to power avionics and flight controls in an engine failure.
The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a light single-engine supersonic multirole fighter aircraft with a delta wing and canard configuration with fly-by-wire flight controls. Early models of the aircraft entered service with the Swedish air force in 1996. Upgraded variants began entering service in 2003.
Compared to earlier models of the Gripen, the E-series has a larger fuselage, a more powerful engine, an increased weapons payload capability, new cockpit avionics, and electronic warfare (EW) system.