L-3 Tapped to Monitor New VLRA Submarine Batteries

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L-3 Communications Henshcel in Newburyport, MA received an estimated maximum $6 million indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price contract for Submarine Valve Regulated, Lead Acid Automatic Battery Monitoring Systems (ABMS). The US Navy is considering switching from flooded lead-acid battery designs to valve-regulated varieties for its Submarine Main Storage Battery requirements… Boston Business Journal notes that flooded lead-acid batteries, such as those found in automobiles, immerse lead plates in electrolytes and must be periodically refilled with distilled water as gas escapes. Valve-regulated batteries have a sealed chamber, and so do not need to be refreshed. This has the potential to significantly increase service life of the battery, while virtually eliminating existing maintenance associated with FLA technology. Precisely because the chamber is sealed, however, good monitoring systems are more necessary. Work on this contract will be performed in Newburyport, MA and is expected to be completed by February 2009. The Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, IN issued the contract (N00164-05-D-6948).

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