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The Pentagon said it has a different manufacturer than Boeing

Despite the issues that Boeing has encountered with its 787 Dreamliner jet, the Pentagon plans to stick with lithium-ion batteries for its F-35 fighter jet.

According to Joe DellaVedova, spokesman for the Pentagon's F-35 program, the F-35's lithium-ion battery is made by a different manufacturer than that of the 787s. Saft Groupe SA manufactures the two major batteries used on the F-35 while GS Yuasa Corp. makes those for the 787.

In addition to a different manufacturer, the F35's batteries have undergone very strenuous testing.

"The bottom line is the lithium-ion batteries used on the F-35s have been through extensive tests and have redundant systems to protect the aircraft and battery compartments; they are considered safe," said DellaVedova.

DellaVedova added that there have been a few minor issues, like the battery not starting correctly in colder temperatures, but these are being addressed.

Saft Groupe SA also makes lithium-ion batteries for Airbus' A350 jets. However, earlier this month, Airbus said it had a back-up plan in case authorities made any changes to the use of these batteries after the 787 troubles.

"We have a robust design," said Fabrice Bregier, Airbus CEO. "If this design has to evolve, we have the time to do that. If it has to change in a more drastic way because the authorities reach the conclusion that the technology is not mature, then we have all the time we need to do this on the A350 before first delivery in the second half of 2014."

Throughout January 2013, 787 Dreamliner jets through Japanese airlines All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL) had various issues concerning their lithium-ion batteries. The 787s were grounded in the U.S., Japan and India while the investigation began.

Earlier this week, it was discovered that the cause of the JAL fire at the Boston Logan Airport on January 7 was the short-circuiting of eight individual battery cells, which led to a thermal runaway condition.


Source: Reuters





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