January 7, 2013
Securaplane, a Meggitt company, has been selected by Embraer Defense and Security as the sole source supplier of the lithium-ion battery system for the new KC-390 twin-engine medium lift military transport aircraft. The system includes 44Ah (Amp hour) main ship and 10Ah emergency backup batteries and is valued at approximately $8 million over the life of the program.
The Embraer KC-390 will transport up to 23 tons of cargo such as wheeled armoured vehicles, support equipment and personnel and can be configured rapidly as a tanker. Embraer Defense and Security is developing the aircraft with the Brazilian Air Force for first flight in 2014.
Meggitt’s lithium battery system has a higher energy density than conventional battery chemistries such as NiCad or lead acid and is 50% lighter, so more fuel or cargo can be carried.
Steffen Spell, Securaplane’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing commented: “Lithium-based systems have demonstrated excellent performance in safety-critical medical applications and essential telecommunications services but their profile is growing in aviation in both fixed and rotor wing aircraft.
“Embraer and Securaplane’s partnership in the development of the Legacy 450/500 lithium emergency battery was a key contributor in the selection of lithium technology for the KC-390 aircraft, reflecting Embraer’s continuing confidence in the safety of lithium technology and its benefits over traditional battery chemistries.”
Securaplane has designed and manufactured aviation batteries for over 15 years. Securaplane emergency and main ship batteries are installed as standard equipment and through Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) in several corporate and regional aircraft platforms. Securaplane has pioneered lithium battery technology on commercial fixed and rotor wing applications, producing the charger for the lithium main ship batteries on the Boeing 787 and the aircraft’s wireless emergency lighting system. It is developing the emergency lithium battery for the Embraer Legacy 450/500 business jet and has been selected to provide the main ship lithium battery on the next generation Eurocopter EC-135 helicopter.