[According to a report from the U.S. Navy Metal Processing Center on June 7, 2016] The U.S. Navy Metal Processing Center (NMC) is implementing a Navy ManTech project to reduce the cost of regular maintenance of submarine pressure hulls. The current maintenance process includes appearance and ultrasonic inspection. During the maintenance, a large number of special hull repair facilities (SHT facilities) need to be removed to inspect the internal hull structure, and these facilities need to be reinstalled after inspection.
The removal, inspection and reinstallation of SHT facilities is a key process in the effective schedule of submarines. If the hull can be inspected directly through SHT facilities, or to minimize the number of SHT facilities that need to be removed, the cost of hull inspection will be greatly reduced. Technologies that are currently of great value in this regard include the use of ultra-wideband radar, phased array ultrasound to reduce the contact area, and terahertz imaging technology.
In the first phase of the project, NMC is evaluating the feasibility of these advanced detection technologies in the project application process. If one or more of these technologies are proved to be feasible, the application of these technologies can reduce the burden of SHT facility removal and reinstallation, thereby reducing the cost of the entire maintenance process. For example, if the number of SHT facilities that must be removed and reinstalled during the hull maintenance of the "Virginia" class submarine can be reduced, it is expected to reduce the cost of 1.2 million US dollars during each hull maintenance cycle. Reduced by 6 million US dollars.
The second phase of the project will develop a prototype system to demonstrate/verify the above technical means. The successful project results will be transferred to the 05U7 office of the Naval Maritime System Command and implemented in various naval shipyards, including the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Base, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Base.
The project product team includes: Office of Naval Sea Systems Command, Philadelphia Division of Naval Surface Warfare Center, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Pennsylvania State University Applied Research Laboratory, Naval Underwater Warfare Center and NMC. (China Shipbuilding Industry Comprehensive Technology and Economic Research Institute is a valuable one)