Army Urged to Develop Common Battery Chargers

Army Urged to Develop Common Battery Chargers

Soldier controlling robot
Photo by: U.S. Army/1st Lt. Angelo Mejia

A House subcommittee will urge the Army to concentrate on common battery charging systems rather than relying on so many different types.

In its draft report on the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act, the House Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on readiness asks the Army to do what the Marine Corps has been trying to do since 2016. “Common charging solutions exist,” the report says. “The Army’s use of such platforms has been limited in scope and capability.”

“The Army utilizes a wide range of different battery types to power systems ranging from communications to robotics and other tactical platforms,” the panel says, noting that this “piecemeal approach to battery charging” is inefficient, increasing acquisition and logistics costs and increasing how much equipment soldiers must carry.

Universal chargers or charging systems could save money and make life easier for soldiers, says the draft report released June 9 in anticipation of subcommittee action on its part of the annual defense policy bill.

Lawmakers would like the Army to act quickly, with a common battery charging solution ready to be briefed to the committee in March. The briefing would focus on what the Marine Corps has done and whether the Army could take the same approach.

The Army has a lightweight universal battery charger that can charge 16 batteries at once. It also has foldable solar panels that are an option for recharging when power isn’t available, and it has developed wearable battery cells for use on extended missions.