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UDT 2024: Type 212 NFS lithium-ion battery system tests move forward

A graphic depiction of the NFS U212 submarine. (OCCAR)

Tests of the lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery system for the Italian Navy's Improved Todaro (Type 212 NFS)-class submarines are moving forward, according to the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR), which manages the programme.

Speaking at the Undersea Defence Technology (UDT) 2024 conference and exhibition in London on 10 April, Commander Alessandro Irvia, Platform Officer, U212 Near Future Submarine (NFS) Programme, confirmed that a thermal propagation test conducted on 9 April had achieved positive results. The thermal propagation test was the latest in a series of tests conducted to ensure the safety of the new Li-ion battery system.

During the thermal propagation test, Cdr Irvia said that no flame or explosions were produced, only gas was released.

The Type 212 NFS will feature an improved version of the safety systems currently installed on the Todaro (Type 212A)-class submarines in Italian Navy service and will be capable of managing such a gas release, he said. Additional safety features of the Li-ion system will include the use of a very stable electrolyte, cylindrical-shaped cells, passive in-cell defence to control cell temperature, safety valve, and a gas management and refrigeration system, he said. The NFS will also feature a newly designed fire-protection system for the battery room including an extinguisher, Cdr Irvia said.

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