Dutch investing in soldier fuel cells


The Netherlands Ministry of Defence has signed a three-year contract with Fokker Aerostructures for the further development of a portable lightweight fuel cell intended to supply energy for all the equipment carried by soldiers.

Fokker presented a first design for the E-Lighter cell to the Dutch MoD in 2007. Under the new three-year contract, this prototype will be developed into a piece of equipment that will meet the requirements of military practice. Furthermore, the contract contains an option for the production of 2000 units.

Due to the lower weight and smaller volume of the equipment, the E-Lighter will improve the mobility of military personnel. Military personnel also experience an increased need for this kind of portable energy source due to the growing use of electronic communications and information equipment. Another logistic improvement is that the battery packs currently used will no longer be necessary.