Tadiran Batteries, a manufacturer of lithium batteries, has been selected by BAE Systems to supply its TLM-1530HP lithium batteries for a project with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Advanced Technology Office.

The high power, CR2-sized batteries from Tadiran will support a program to convert 60-millimeter (mm) mortars into a precision guided munitions system.

The TLM-1530 power modules from Tadiran were selected because they meet specific size, weight and performance requirements issued by BAE Systems and DARPA.

Due to both price and size constraints, 3 V CR2 consumer type cells, typically used in cameras, were initially considered, but rejected because they could not operate in extremely cold environments and offer a limited shelf life of approximately five years.

"BAE Systems selected Tadiran’s TLM Series primary lithium cells, which were recently introduced and designed specifically for military and aerospace applications,“ said Sol Jacobs, vice president and general manager for Tadiran. “At 4 V, with models offering the ability to maintain pulses of 15 amps even at -40°C, along with a shelf life of up to 20 years, the TLM proved to be the optimum solution for powering the replacement fuze/guidance package."

DARPA's Optically Directed Attack Munitions (ODAM) program is a technology development and integration initiative to demonstrate a laser-guided, low cost optical seeker for the 60 mm mortar. The systems will improve US military effectiveness by providing small, operational units with cost-effective precision indirect munitions systems capable of operating across multiple environments.

“This is a significant contract award for Tadiran. The ODAM program is an excellent application to utilize our cutting-edge technology for military applications,” continued Jacobs. “We are committed to continued support for DARPA’s ODAM program and working closely with BAE Systems.”

The ODAM program will occur over 24 months and culminates in a live-fire demonstration Government test and evaluation. The ODAM 60mm mortar is guided by a high resolution optical array seeker comprised of sophisticated guidance and sensor electronics.

Tadiran’s TLM-1530 lithium battery technology features an open circuit voltage of 4 V, and the ability to handle pulses of up to 6.5A, with 2.5A maximum continuous load. TLM offers very long life in extreme environmental conditions, including a self-discharge rate of less than 1 percent per year at room temperature, and a temperature range of -40° to +85°C. The battery’s ability to withstand extreme temperatures is critical to successful military applications.