- StrategyPage, August 2, 2016, reports :
JUNE 2015 ARTICLE
-Along the way a "study issued in 2003 cited two major technical problems: noisy propellers and silver-zinc batteries that depleted more quickly than planned. A new propeller made of composite material [was] developed to rectify the noise problem. Development [was] under way on lithium-ion batteries to replace the silver-zinc batteries and enable the electrical system to meet the navy's requirements [by 2006] however, technical, reliability, and cost issues [proved practically] insurmountable."
The requirement as at 2016 seems to have shifted from the USN main carriage to US Special Operations Command (SOCOM). There may be a two finalist runoff for a 10 meter long DRY submersible, called the SOCOM bland User Operational Evaluation System (UOES). Finalists may beGeneral Dynamics Electric Boat vs Lockheed Martin,
each working witha three-year, $44 million SOCOM firm-fixed price design, build and deliver contract. A requirement includes carriage of up to six people.
- On June 10, 2016 Scout Warrior reported on the General Dynamics Electric Boat bid, GD-EB is working with Italy’s Giunio Santi Engineering (GSE) given Italy's lengthy record of building devastingly effective mini-subs and diver delivery vehicles.
A September 3, 2013 report from Military Aerospace repeated similar specs to the 2005 reference, with "USSOCOM officials are interested in dry combat submersibles that can move at speeds of at least five knots, at depths to 200 feet, with provisions for two pilots. [earlier indicating] Officials of the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, Ind., have awarded a $12.5 million contract to General Atomics for lithium ion batteries to be used on the Dry Combat Submersible program of…SOCOM at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla."
On April 13, 2016 GovConWire reported: "TYSONS CORNER, VA, April 13, 2016 - ‘Lithium-ion Fault Tolerant battery technology has been certified by after it completed tests aboard an undersea vehicle of the , ExecutiveBiz ."
Two days earlier, on April 11, 2016 General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) reported:
""Unlike prior Lithium-ion battery technologies, GA-EMS' LiFT battery system offers a single cell fault tolerance to prevent uncontrolled cascading failure. This means the battery is capable of surviving a catastrophic cell failure without propagating to neighboring cells, ensuring the safety of on-board personnel and equipment," stated Paul Clark, senior manager responsible for LiFT program at GA-EMS."
So the US is clearly developing LIBs for, at least, DRY delivery submersible use. Whether the US will have LIBs as backup batteries on its SSNs and new SSBNs is a mystery.
There seems to be no pictures of GA's LiFT batteries available...
See a subsequent Business Insider article of July 27, 2016.