Time to replace the batteries: EaglePicher to provide thermal lithium batteries for Air Force HARM anti-radiation missile

Posted by John Keller

RIDGECREST, Calif., 9 June 2013. U.S. Navy missile experts needed specialized replacement batteries for U.S. military stockpiles of the Raytheon AGM-88B High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile, better-known as HARM. They found their solution from EaglePicher Technologies LLC in Joplin, Mo.

The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division at China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station in Ridgecrest, Calif., awarded a $7.1 million contract this week to EaglePicher to build replacement thermal lithium batteries for the HARM missile control section.

The existing HARM AGM-88B missile batteries need to be replaced to extend the useful life of these missiles, Navy experts explain. HARM, which is designed to seek and destroy enemy radar installations, has been in service since 1983.

EaglePicher experts will build thermal battery replacements for HARM, which is considered to be the most cost-effective battery replacement for this missile. The Navy is buying the HARM battery replacements on behalf of the U.S. Air Force.

Thermal batteries are high-temperature primary and secondary cells that use molten salts as an electrolyte. This kind of power source offers high energy density and high power density. The batteries must last in storage for at least 20 years, and provide at least five minutes of power for the HARM during flight.

On the current contract, EaglePicher will design, test, and build a multi-tapped, squib-activated, lithium or lithium alloy anode, thermal battery. EaglePicher will do the work in Joplin, Mo., and should be finished by October 2016.

For more information contact EaglePicher online at www.eaglepicher.com, or the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division at www.navair.navy.mil/nawcwd.

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