FAAM, the Italian Teverola-based manufacturer of energy storage systems, said it will supply lithium-ion batteries made with LFP cells to a military submarine programme.
The journal Naval News reported this as a development project for Italy’s new submarine generation, U212 NFS. It said one of the primary focuses was on implementing a lithium battery system on board the submarines.
The system components prototype passed relevant performance and safety tests. The industrial team today includes the FIB-FAAM company of Seri Industrial Group, the Power4Future (P4F) joint-venture between Fincantieri SI and Faist Electronics, Fincantieri’s Cetena and the TÜV Rheinland certification body.
International defence equipment body OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation) said the move is strategic. Director Joachim Sucker and programme committee representative, vice admiral Giuseppe Abbamont, said the decision to choose lithium reflects a move towards adopting more advanced and sustainable power storage solutions, ready to be implemented in the wider underwater and surface naval scenario.
This technological switch shows Italy’s interest in investing in technology and in being at the forefront of maritime defence capabilities, they said.
The lithium battery system test results envisaged greater operational efficiency, simultaneously enhancing propulsion and endurance, reducing maintenance and granting highest levels of on-board safety, according to OCCAR. The system includes both the battery management system and the LiFePO4 battery modules.
The total number of vessels is estimated at four. They would come with logistics and in-service support agreements, OCCAR said.
Naval News reported the only country so far with lithium-ion battery submarines in the water is Japan. South Korea is expected to follow soon. France is proposing a lithium-ion submarine to Indonesia. Germany’s TKMS is also working on the technology. BEST previously reported that China is examining whether to replace lead-acid batteries with lithium-ion ones in its military submarine fleet.
Image: submarine showing battery modules. OCCAR