The Li-S Energy Ltd [ASX:LIS] shares are up today after signing a Memorandum of Agreement with Insitu Pacific, a subsidiary of The Boeing Company.
Li-S has developed a lithium-sulphur (Li-S) battery — hence the company name — that uses boron nitride nanotubes (BNNT). As you may remember, LIS recently signed a deal with Janus Electric to develop and test lithium sulphur and/or lithium metal battery cells. The goal of the collaboration is to increase vehicle range and decrease battery weight.
Li-S to help Insitu with unmanned aircraft systems
Located in Queensland, Insitu Pacific has been around since 2009 and has a flight testing and training facility around 90 minutes from Brisbane. The company works with defence customers in the Asia Pacific region and commercial customers around the globe.
The objective of the agreement is to integrate and test Li-S battery technology into Insitu’s Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS).
Under the terms of the agreement, both will work together to manufacture and test batteries with the same size, weight, and power limits as the ones used in Insitu Pacific UAS, along with using the same payload space and connectors.
They will then both run a joint flight test campaign at Insitu’s test range to show the performance improvements.
Li-S Energy’s CEO Dr Lee Finniear said:
‘We are very pleased to be working with one of most recognised names in the aviation industry. As the market for UAVs continues to accelerate with new applications and capabilities, battery weight and energy density has become one of the most critical factors for UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] performance.’
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Insitu Pacific hopes the deal will unlock global opportunities
If the venture is successful, Insitu Pacific believes it will place them in a great position to chase several global Small Tactical UAS opportunities available with various global defence forces.
At time of writing, Li-S Energy is trading at $1.86, 4.20% higher than yesterday’s close.
Prices for lithium carbonate have soared by 317% since this time last year according to Benchmark Minerals. With a lithium shortage expected to hit the market as soon as next year, prices could go up even more.
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