Ever since we learned last week of the DoD Wearable Power competition that is occurring now, there's been a swirl of speculation as to whether or not Lockheed Martin is fielding EEstor technology in the event. For my part, I've tried to get Lockheed to comment but have been unable to find anyone who will either confirm or DENY that EEStor technology is in the mix. The most I've heard is that Craig Vanbebber responded to some questions posed by Bettina Chavanne from Aviation Week about this topic but did not provide definitive information. I haven't been able to reach Mrs. Chavanne either. So, my next step was to contact the official channels and was able to reach Cdr Darryn James, who is listed as a contact for the contest. He mentioned to me that he was working on a new press release at that very moment with the names of the top 20 teams still in the competition. He could not confirm or deny EEStor involvement and wasnt familiar with all details like that. Lockheed was definitely in the final 20.
So, it was in that dark, uninformed scenario, that I thought I'd make one last attempt by querying a definitive source, ie, Dick Weir. In reading through my interview notes, I can see that it will appear that I really pressed him for an answer on the competition. I noticed that I failed to get a "no" from him (what I've been looking to get from Lockheed too). In any case, I must have badgered him just enough to get him to mention his latest contract for which he anticipates seeing an announcement "soon."
Interview from Sept 29, 2008.
Dick Weir: Dick Weir
Blogger: Dick, do you have EEstor technology in the wearable power competition sponsored by the DoD?
DW: Who am I talking to?
B: This is the eestor blogger, sir. How are you doing today?
DW: Hey, how you doing? What we're doing with Lockheed is proprietary with Lockheed Martin. There is a huge demand though for the wearable power situation because of the problems in the field. And EEstor thinks our technology is superior to lithium ion and so, if asked, we would certainly be willing to write a contract for batteries in the wearable power space.
B: Are you aware of the competition taking place right now sponsored by the Dept of Defense out in California at TwentyNine Palms...?
DW: yeah, we heard about that. That might be attractive. Right now we're on a path to produce batteries and things look great.
B: You know Senator John Warner was one of the sponsors of the bill that provided the funding for that type of a competition to support the military.
DW: Oh great, let me look into that.I wasn't aware that there was money involved. Let me take a peak at it.
B: It's a million dollar prize goes to the best wearable power out there today. And I've just learned that Lockheed Martin has made it into the final 20 teams but cant get confirmation as to whether or not they arefielding EEStor technology.
DW: Well EESTor is on a path. We've told everybody. This is not news that properly funded, we anticipate to be in production mid next year. If that meets that contest, then we'll probably serve up a battery for it. But we're on our path for success and we're plowing into that path and we're happy with our progress.
B: But that contest is taking place right now, sir.
DW: Im just telling you how I feel. We're very happy with our progress. And very happy that our battery will officially win a contract in that field when we have batteries to go and enter into military contracts.
B: One of the last things in relation to the last press release, was the desire on EEStor's part to achieve military specs. And people are trying to connect that press release to this contest.
DW: There are huge amounts of mission critical military contracts that need advanced technologies. And we will certainly compete in those as we go forward.
B: Are you in the competition?
DW: Im just saying. This is what I am saying. We are on a path here to be in production mid next year and with proper funding, thats what we're going through now and we're happy with that. We've landed another contract which is good and helps us, a very substantial contract with another company. With that now, we take those funds and move forward.