The US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) is set to take delivery of the first shipset of lithium-ion fault tolerant (LiFT) batteries for use on-board its new dry combat submersible (DCS).

The DCS is a long endurance underwater delivery vehicle weighing more than 30t, which can be launched from surface vessels.

It is capable of travelling long distances underwater and is designed to safely transport personnel in a ‘dry environment’.

"This milestone represents a big step forward in meeting the demand for safer and more capable battery systems for undersea applications."

The LiFT batteries will be developed and delivered to the USSOCOM by General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS).

The company has been under contract with Lockheed Martin since September 2016 to supply the batteries, which are intended to power the submerged vehicles’ propulsion and internal support systems.

GA-EMS Programmes vice-president Rolf Ziesing said: “We have made significant investment in developing the LiFT battery concept, and have successfully demonstrated the reliability and resiliency of the LiFT battery system in realistic undersea conditions, as well as in extreme testing environments.

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“We are proud to be supporting this programme and are excited to deliver the first battery system for DCS.

“This milestone represents a big step forward in meeting the demand for safer and more capable battery systems for undersea applications.”

The batteries’ modular design and single cell fault tolerance are intended to assist in the prevention of uncontrolled and catastrophic cascading lithium-ion cell failure.

LiFT is capable of maintaining power availability for high mission assurance and helps ensure the safety of personnel and platforms.

Lockheed Martin and Submergence Group previously received a $166m contract from the USSOCOM for the production of underwater DCSs in July 2016.