Reading, PA, March 2004 – EnerSys, the world's leading provider of stored DC power solutions for industrial applications, recently announced that its Hawker Energy Products, Inc. subsidiary, based in Warrensburg, Missouri, will open a new production line to support US military demands for valve regulated lead acid (VRLA) tactical vehicle batteries. The US Department of Defense (DOD) last month approved the Hawker Armasafe Plusâ as the only VRLA battery for use on all tactical vehicles around the world, as an option to the higher maintenance flooded batteries. The new production line is to be inaugurated by Rep. Ike Skelton (Fourth District, Missouri) in a ceremony on Monday, March 15 at the EnerSys plant in Warrensburg.
EnerSys uses a unique VRLA design based on the thin plate pure lead (TPPL) technology. “TPPL is a completely proven lead acid battery technology for use on many military applications, like the F-16 Falcon, F-18 Hornet, F-117 Stealth Fighter, Blackhawk helicopter, and Mark 38 Gun Systems”, said John Craig, Chairman, President and CEO of EnerSys. “EnerSys introduced the battery to the UK Ministry of Defence for its fighting vehicles about 8 years ago and it has since been accepted by the US military and many other Allied Forces worldwide, including Canada, Australia, Singapore, and Norway. Over the last 12 months, the superior performance of the Armasafe Plusâ in Afghanistan and Iraq has led to a dramatic increase in the demand for the battery and EnerSys is delighted to establish a production line in the US at its Warrensburg MO facility. When worldwide demand for Armasafe Plusâ exceeds our global capacity, we intend to expand the Warrensburg line further.”
“The 360,000 square foot highly automated facility that employs 375 people of whom 250 are dedicated to production has been producing TPPL products for over 20 years,” said Mike Schmidtlein, Plant Manager. “We are excited about manufacturing the Armasafe Plusâ, which will be among the largest products produced in Warrensburg. This investment in the new line will add 20 new jobs to our payroll. Continued growth in large size batteries such as Armasafe Plusâ will help add more jobs in the future,” he added.
The TPPL technology provides a higher energy density than other batteries currently in use or considered by the US Military. Conversion to VRLA from flooded batteries results in a substantial reduction in battery maintenance, improved logistics, and significant life cycle cost savings. It has been proven that this proprietary technology in the Hawker Armasafe Plusâ will enable each vehicle to achieve longer silent watch time on battery power during battlefield missions such as reconnaissance and scout activity. Testing conducted by the army at Ft. Hood, Texas, showed that the Armasafe Plusâ battery provided at least eight-times the silent watch capability standard set for the present flooded lead acid battery.
“The US Marine Corps was the first US military branch to use the Armasafe Plusâ, and the product has made a significant difference for troop activity during the Afghan and Iraq wars,” remarked Don Nissanka, Director of Sales and Marketing for Aerospace and Defence products at EnerSys. “During the last 12 months, the US Army has twice chartered aircraft to transport thousands of Armasafe Plusâ batteries directly from the Newport, UK plant to the battlefield. With the establishment of production capacity at Warrensburg, EnerSys is in a position to meet the worldwide demand for this superior battery,” he further remarked.