Monday, March 6, 2017

Navy Subs Still Show Issue with Stealth Coating |

Navy Subs Still Show Issue with Stealth Coating | In 2010, when rubberlike quieting material started to peel off the hulls of newer Virginia-class submarines, the Navy said it was fine-tuning a fix for a problem occurring on the first few ships made.

Seven years later, the Navy still appears to be seeking a cure.

When the $2 billion USS Mississippi recently returned to Pearl Harbor, its "Mold-In-Place/Special Hull Treatment" looked ragged and was missing chunks on at least one side of the hull. The sub was commissioned in 2012.

The loss of stealth comes at a time when China and Russia are making worrisome advances in submarine technology.

A photo that appeared on Facebook prompted the comment that the Mississippi looked "pretty banged up." No collision, no accident, and no hull damage, reported the Pacific Fleet Submarine Force at Pearl Harbor.

The Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington skirted questions about what happened to the Mississippi and how much of a problem the debonding remains for Virginia-class attack boats.

Asked what caused the damage, the command in an email cited the "wear and tear from the harsh environment in which the submarine operates," but would not say when or why it occurred.