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25 Apr 07. Saft Space and Defense Division (SDD) launched its lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) technology made in Cockeysville, Maryland. Using Saft’s renowned electrochemical expertise, the close cooperation with our supplier and our focus on excellence, Saft is now able to provide the highest performance LiFePO4 cells available today, measured in specific power or specific energy.
These products use UT licensed LiFePO4 and are available without encumbrances due to intellectual property issues. While potentially beneficial for military use, this is an evolving technology that does not yet solve the problem of calendar life, which is critical for automotive applications and others where life cycle cost is important. The performance of the Saft LiFePO4 product, while superior to that of competitors proposing this chemistry, will be nominally 20 – 30% inferior to our premier product range based on LiNiCoAlO2 cathode. While LiFePO4 cannot match the performance of Saft’s LiNiCoAlO2 products, it can provide satisfactory performance in some applications. The interest in LiFePO4 is due to its good thermal stability, which can limit the outcome resulting from severe abuse. Saft’s LiFePO4 products will be available in several Space and Defense Division standard formats. Saft SDD is developing standard modules and electronics to make the technology applicable.
25 Apr 07. Lockheed Martin recently conducted several successful flight tests of a Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Unitary Phase II rocket at White Sands Missile Range, NM, concluding the second phase of the Production Qualification Testing (PQT) requirement series for the contract. Test objectives included demonstration of the GMLRS Unitary rockets in the point-impact and proximity modes at short, medium and long ranges against tactically representative targets. Completed test missions filled requirements for both the Engineering Development Test (EDT) and PQT series. “The GMLRS program continues to be one of success,” said Lt. Col. Mark Pincoski, U.S. Army Precision Guided Munitions and Rockets Product Manager. “A little over one year ago, GMLRS entered full-rate production. The Urgent Material Request Unitary rocket has been used in theater since September of 2005, and has become the weapon of choice for troops in contact due to its effectiveness and accuracy.” Guided MLRS Unitary integrates a 200-pound unitary warhead into the GMLRS rocket, giving battlefield commanders the ability to attack targets up to 70 kilometers away with extremely high precision. This low-cost, low-risk program has helped to greatly reduce collateral damage by providing enhanced accuracy to ensure delivery of the warhead to the target.
26 Apr 07. In a first-of-its-kind dual missile defense test today, Raytheon-produced Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) and Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) simultaneously engaged targets over the Pacific Ocean. This was the first time a U.S. Navy ship demonstrated simultaneous ship engagements against both cruise and ballistic missile targets. It was the eighth successful intercept for the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system’s SM-3. The SM-3 Block IA destroyed a short-range ballistic missile target in space while SM-2 Block IIIA engaged a cruise missile threat at a lower altitude. Both intercepting missiles were fired from guided missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) by the ship’s crew. The ballistic missile target was launched from the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai. The subsonic cruise missile target was launched from a range aircraft.