“A prototype of the battery-powered armor stopped a 7.62mm rifle round in a test to see how well it could stop bullets. The Raytheon team that built the battery says it can power military vehicles’ electronics without running the engine, reducing the need for costly and dangerous fuel convoys.”

Raytheon, one of the world’s-largest military contractors, says it has developed a new type of vehicle armor that also doubles as a battery.

There’s a big payoff for batteries that can stop bullets, the company says. Even as it can protect those in combat, it can also lighten their load by reducing the need for fuel convoys and lessening the need for engine run times.

First described in a 2015 patent—”Method and apparatus for armor having integrated battery power”—the armor was designed with multiple layers of electrical conductors, like what’s called high-hardened steel with ceramic insulators, that happen to also be bullet-resistant.

That means, Raytheon claims, that while bullets can’t penetrate the armor, power can go right through it.

The armor is said to be able to stop a 7.62mm sniper-rifle round. And even if a bullet penetrates the battery, only the affected cell will cease working while the others will continue to provide electricity.

Raytheon says the batteries are meant to store energy generated by the motion of the military vehicles. That means crews can switch to battery power when they stop moving, avoiding the necessity to keep the engine running simply to keep all the onboard electronics powered up.

Read more at Fast Company