Infantry: Bullet Proof Batteries


March 3, 2009: A defense contractor has come up with a clever idea for solving the growing problem of infantry having to haul around so many heavy batteries. While the ultimate solution to these growing battlefield electricity needs is fuel cells, an interim solution is a modified E-SAPI ballistic plate with a 10mm thick lithium ion battery fitted onto it as an additional layer. The bulletproof plate is normally 25x30cm (10x12 inches) and 2.5cm (an inch) thick. Actually, there are four of these flat batteries on each plate. A special vest contains attachments for the various equipment batteries you need to recharge, or a direct connection to some equipment. The E-SAPI plates normally weigh about five pounds each, but the addition of the battery panels adds another pound or so. Overall, the soldier carries about ten percent less weight in batteries, and does so a lot more comfortably. Or so goes the sales pitch. More will be known once many of these get out into the combat zone and used a lot. The powered plates will be available for sale by the end of the year (from BAE), and two of them are supposed to supply enough juice for a typical 72 hour mission.


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