Navy seeking solutions for battery production amid supply chain problems

By Abby Shepherd / April 1, 2024 at 2:27 PM

Amid supply chain issues, the Navy is seeking industry solutions to mitigate risk for battery development and modernize the manufacturing of critical battery materials.

Focusing on four areas -- critical battery materials, components, critical processes assessment and mitigation and battery development and prototyping -- Naval Sea Systems Command wants to ease supply chain risks by improving manufacturing technologies, according to an announcement posted Monday for an upcoming request for solutions.

The Defense Department regularly needs specialty batteries, according to the notice, including batteries made with optimized chemicals, materials and components that are not easily substituted.

“When one of these specialty materials or processes becomes unusable or unavailable, major effort is required to find or develop economical substitutes that can be acquired in the volumes needed,” the notice states.

NAVSEA is seeking domestically sourced battery chemicals, components and subassemblies that can substitute those currently facing supply chain risks. The command also aims to develop supply chain risk assessments and mitigation approaches for critical manufacturing processes and identify a prototype manufacturing process capable of achieving a higher volume of production.

Finally, NAVSEA plans to identify a solution for the development and demonstration of prototype batteries that incorporate solutions from the other three focus areas.

“These battery prototypes will provide confidence that the new materials and processes will be capable of acceptably performing as intended,” the notice states. “Follow-on production is a possible outcome.”

The request for solutions is anticipated to be released May 7.