By Edric ThompsonDecember 31, 2008
FORT MONMOUTH, N.J. (Army News Service, Dec. 31, 2008) -The Army's newest batteries are lighter, last longer and are setting unordered because Soldiers don't know about them, according to officials at the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center.
"We've found that many units are still ordering the older technology because they aren't aware of the improved capabilities of the newer models," said Rafael A. Casanova, team leader, Battery Support Team at CERDEC's Army Power Division. "In many cases, those ordering the batteries look at the prices by the national stock numbers and don't realize that while the newer technology may cost a little more per unit, it's a better buy in the long run."
The BA-5390 disposable and the BB-2590 rechargeable batteries are significantly lighter and have more capacity than their predecessors. Both batteries can be used in Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, or C4ISR systems such as the SINCGARS and SATCOM/HF radios and the M-22 ACADA sensor.
The BA-5390 disposable battery (NSN 6135-01-517-6060) weighs 3 pounds and has 60 percent more capacity than the BA-5590, a battery many units are still ordering.
"It would take seven BA-5590 disposable batteries to support a SINCGARS ASIP Radio during a seven-day mission," said Casanova. "However, the same mission could be accomplished with three BA-5390 disposable batteries, thus reducing the Soldier's weight by 6.7 pounds and reducing the overall cost by 60 percent."
The BB-2590 rechargeable battery (NSN 6140-01-490-4316) weighs .7 pounds less than the frequently ordered BB-390 and has 70 percent more capacity. Similarly, it would take five BB-390 rechargeable batteries to support the SINCGARS ASIP Radio during a seven-day mission, but only three BB-2590 rechargeable batteries, thus reducing weight by 6.1 pounds and overall cost by .6 percent per use.
Additional benefits include a state of charge indicator, or SOCI, in both batteries, which allows Soldiers to see how much capacity is left.
"Over the past few years, Army Power has introduced a wide range of state-of-the-art technologies to support the Warfighter's power needs," said Casanova. "We want those ordering for their units to know their options and the benefits of each so they can properly factor mission, price and the technical characteristics of the needed power source."
(Edric Thompson serves with CERDEC Public Affairs.)