On Sept. 19 2005
Arotech announced a new type of 12V zinc-air battery compatible
with the MBITR radios, operated by the US Special Forces,
designated BA-8140/U. The non-rechargeable battery delivers 12V at
400 watt-hour. The company reported preliminary orders worth
$478,000 for the new product.
The BA-8180/U Zinc Air primary
(non-rechargeable) battery is a 12/24 Volt, 800 Watt-hour battery
pack, approximately the size and weight of a notebook computer.
The battery is based on the new generation of lightweight, 30
ampere-hours cells developed by Electric Fuel. Rated at 350 wh/kg,
the battery typically provided 4 to 6 times the run time of
conventional BA-5590 offering longer mission endurance, improved
safety and redundancy and considerable logistics saving. BA-8180/U
is typically used with portable equipment, in locations where
reliable electrical power is not available, or where long
endurance operation of equipment is required - such as with long
range patrols, and special operations teams, where the battery
pack is carried in a rucksack, adjacent to the radio pack. In
satellite communications applications, PSC-5 SATCOM terminals
operated continuously for four days, powered by a hybrid
zinc-air/lead-acid pack. The battery is used as an external power
source, where it replace standard power packs such as BA-5590/U,
BA-5390/U and BA-3590/U by using compatible adapters that fits
into the battery compartment and plugs into the external source.
Similar adapters can replace BB-390A/U, BB-5990/U, BB-690/Y and
BB-2590/U rechargeable batteries.
of zinc-air power cells is charging of rechargeable batteries such
as li-ion cells. The US Army is planning to field Forward Field
Chargers, to support extended, dismounted operations. Advanced
charging solutions are an integral part of the program, and the
new Charger enables charging from a number of sources.
Electric-Fuel is offering a version of the Forward Field Charger
which uses the BA 8180 battery as a source of energy for field
charging of military rechargeable batteries. Other sources
supported by the system include solar panels, 24-volt vehicle
batteries and 110/220 AC.
battery electrochemistry is similar to Alkaline Manganese
thus has similar safety and environmental properties
MnO2 is replaced by oxygen from the
Zinc-air batteries are
considerably safer in combat situations and more environmentally
friendly than lithium batteries. The US Army Communications
Electronic Command (CECOM) orders started in 2003 after extensive
testing and positive experience with troops during operations in
Iraq and Afghanistan. In training, Zinc-Air packs powered PRC-119
radio sets for an average period of 6 - 9 days. Arotech reported
in November 2003 an order of $5.2 worth of BA-8180/U zinc-air
primary batteries, in addition to an ongoing 2003 order
worth $4.1 million. The US Army plans to buy 150,000 BA-8180/U
batteries under a sole source program announced in November 2003.
In March 2005 CECOM ordered more 8180 and 8140 type batteries
under a three-year $24 million contract signed in 2005. Arotech is
producing the zinc-air batteries at its US production line in