Loading

SUBMARINE BOW DOME

Submarine Bow Dome

General Overview
This section discusses the specified coatings for submarine bow domes. The type of coating and application is based on the bow dome material; steel or GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic); whether the dome is booted or unbooted and type of submarine (SSBN or SSN). The specified coating application process protects the dome from the effects of seawater immersion. Antifouling coatings are applied on top of the anticorrosives on exterior surfaces to prevent marine growth.

Marine growth can lead to a variety of problems, including localized corrosion, coating damage, decreased speed, increased fuel consumption, reduced buoyancy, increased vessel displacement and equipment failures, such as decreased effectiveness of acoustic sensors.

Both steel and GRP unbooted bow dome exteriors are coated similarly to the underwater hull, receiving an anticorrosive coating and antifouling coating from the keel to upper boottop. For booted bow domes, the anticorrosive is topcoated with antifouling below the boottop and polyurethane above the boottop. Steel domes receive a complete system of anticorrosive primer prior to installation of the rubber boot, whereas GRP domes receive only one coat of anticorrosive primer under the rubber boot. The interior of steel bow domes receive anticorrosive coating but not antifouling coating. GRP dome interiors remain unpainted.


The U.S. Navy's newest and most advanced nuclear-powered attack submarine and the lead ship of its class,
PCU Virginia (SSN 774) is moved outdoors for the first time at the General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard.
U.S. Navy photo by General Dynamics Electric Boat

Dry docking is required for bow dome repairs. During major availabilities, shipyard/depot level personnel perform the maintenance work. Drydock schedules are coordinated based on the submarine's class and its operating cycle.

Only coatings listed in Maintenance Standard 6310-081-015 - Submarine Preservation (SMS) can be used.  Consult the most recent revision of the SMS for an up-to-date list of high-solids coatings approved for use on submarine bow dome areas. This list may contain more coatings than the list in the revision used when the contract was awarded. Use of high-solids paints is mandatory in some areas.

New Technology Areas
(Only coatings approved by NAVSEA for use on submarines may be applied.)

Improved Surface Preparation
Enhanced surface preparation has been instituted, including strict adherence to surface preparation and surface cleanliness standards (SSPC/NACE/ASTM). Power tool cleaning and Sponge-Jet blasting are approved as surface preparation methods.

Quality Assurance
Independent third party QA oversight at key points during the process and in-house (first party) QA monitoring of the preservation process by NACE or NBPI-qualified inspectors is vital to achieving the design life expectancy of these new systems.  Government oversight should not replace in-house QA process monitoring by NACE or NBPI-qualified inspectors. All coatings used in critical coated areas must be receipt inspected.

U.S. Navy Coating Application Process Repair Requirements

Submarine Maintenance Standard MS NO. 6310-081-015 "Submarine Preservation" (Official Use Only)
The SMS for submarine preservation is the governing technical document for submarine preservation and maintenance. This document consolidates requirements into a single standard and is dedicated to the proper application and maintenance of coatings on U.S. Navy submarines. Requirements listed in the SMS provide guidance for Intermediate Maintenance Activities (IMAs), Naval Shipyards, and contractors.

The SMS does not supersede NSTM 631. However, in instances where requirements specified are conflicting, the SMS governs. This also applies to DDGOS, MRCs, MSs, and individual ships' Paint Schedule requirements.

The SMS shall be referred to for all application and QA/QC requirements and all information for submarine preservation shall be verified per application documents prior to any work being performed.

Applicable Coatings Specifications and Approved Coatings
  • Table I: Exterior Surface of GRP Unbooted Bow Domes
  • Table II: Exterior Surface of GRP Booted Bow Domes
  • Table III: Exterior Surface of Steel Unbooted Bow Domes
  • Table IV: Exterior Surface of Steel Booted Bow Domes
  • Table V: Interior Surface of Bow Domes (GRP and Steel)
  • Table VI: Bow Dome Access Free-Flood Area
Table I: Exterior Surface of GRP Unbooted Bow Domes
Anticorrosive Coating System Antifouling Coating System
Exterior Surfaces Above Upper Boottop
MIL-DTL-24441/QPL-24441 Type IV
  • 1 coat F-150
  • 1 coat F-153 or F-154
MIL-PRF-24647/QPL-24647
  • 2-3 coats
MIL-PRF-23236/QPL-23236 Non-high-solids coatings

Exterior Surfaces Below Upper Boottop
MIL-DTL-24441/QPL-24441 Type IV
  • 1 coat F-150
  • 1 coat F-153 or F-154
MIL-PRF-24647/QPL-24647
  • 2-3 coats
MIL-PRF-24647/QPL-24647
  • 2-4 coats (Black or Red)
Note
For specific details on system application, refer to Tables and Attachments in the Submarine Maintenance Standard MS NO. 6310-081-015 "Submarine Preservation" (For Official Use Only).

Table II: Exterior Surface of GRP Booted Bow Domes
Anticorrosive Coating System Antifouling Coating System
Exterior Surfaces Above Upper Boottop (Prior to installing Boot)
MIL-DTL-24441/QPL-24441 Type IV
  • 1 coat F-150
MIL-PRF-24631
  • 1 coat Formula 187

Exterior Surfaces Below Upper Boottop(Prior to installing Boot) MIL-DTL-24441/QPL-24441 Type IV
  • 1 coat F-150
MIL-PRF-24631
  • 1 coat Formula 187
MIL-PRF-24647/QPL-24647
  • 2-4 coats (Black or Red)
Note
For specific details on system application, refer to Tables and Attachments in the Submarine Maintenance Standard MS NO. 6310-081-015 "Submarine Preservation" (For Official Use Only).

Table III: Exterior Surface Unbooted Steel Bow Dome
Anticorrosive Antifouling Coating System
Exterior Surfaces Above Upper Boottop
MIL-DTL-24441/QPL-24441 Type IV
  • 1 coat F-150
  • 1 coat F-153 or F-154
MIL-PRF-23236/QPL-23236 Non-high-solids coatings
  • 2-3 coats
MIL-PRF-24647/QPL-24647
  • 2-3 coats
MIL-PRF-24647/QPL-24647
  • 2-4 coats (Black or Red)
Note
For specific details on system application, refer to Tables and Attachments in the Submarine Maintenance Standard MS NO. 6310-081-015 "Submarine Preservation" (For Official Use Only).

Table IV: Exterior Surface Booted Steel Bow Domes
Anticorrosive Antifouling Coating System
Prior to installing Rubber Boot
MIL-DTL-24441/QPL-24441 Type IV
  • 1 coat F-150
  • 1 coat F-153 or F-154
Exterior Surfaces Above Upper Boottop
After installation of Rubber Boot
MIL-PRF-24631
  • 1 coat Formula 187
MIL-PRF-24647/QPL-24647
  • 2-4 coats (Black or Red)

Exterior Surfaces Below Upper Boottop
After installation of Rubber Boot
MIL-PRF-24631
  • 1 coat Formula 187
MIL-PRF-24647/QPL-24647
  • 2-4 coats (Black or Red)
Note
For specific details on system application, refer to Tables and Attachments in the Submarine Maintenance Standard MS NO. 6310-081-015 "Submarine Preservation" (For Official Use Only).

Table V: Exterior Surface Unbooted Steel Bow Dome
Steel Bow Domes GRP Bow Domes
MIL-PRF-23236/QPL-23236 Non-high-solids coatings

MIL-DTL-24441/QPL-24441 Type IV
  • 1 coat F-150
  • 1 coat F-152
MIL-PRF-23236/QPL-23236 Non-high-solids coatings
  • 2-3 coats
Unpainted
Note

For specific details on system application, refer to Tables and Attachments in the Submarine Maintenance Standard MS NO. 6310-081-015 "Submarine Preservation" (For Official Use Only).

Table VI: Bow Dome Access Free Flood Area
Anticorrosive Coating System Antifoaling Coating System
MIL-PRF-23236/QPL-23236 Non-high-solids coatings
  • 2 coats plus stripe coat
MIL-DTL-24441/QPL-24441 Type IV

For Touch Up/Repair ONLY
  • 1 coat F-150
  • 1 coat F-151, F-152
MIL-PRF-23236/QPL-23236 Non-high solids coatings

For Touch Up/Repair ONLY
  • 2 or 3 coats
MIL-PRF-24647/QPL-24647
  • 2-4 coats
MIL-PRF-24647/QPL-24647
  • 2-4 coats as specified
Note
For specific details on system application, refer to Tables and Attachments in the Submarine Maintenance Standard MS NO. 6310-081-015 "Submarine Preservation" (For Official Use Only).

Naval Ships' Technical Manual (NSTM)
The NSTM is referenced in the SMS for various preservation requirements. The applicable Chapters for preservation are listed below.

Naval Ships' Technical Manual (NSTM) Chapter 631

  • Volume 1 Preservation of Ships in Service.

Additional Bow Dome Preservation Requirement References

NAVSEA SE300-AZ-MMA-010
  • Provides application guidance for SSN-21 Class bow sonar domes
NAVSEA S9165-AC-HBK-010
  • Submarine Sonar Dome Handbook
NAVSEA SE300AY-MMA-010/SSBN726Cl
  • TRIDENT GRP Bow Sonar Dome Handbook
UIPI 6311-460
  • Provides application guidance for high-solids coatings
NAVSEA Drawing 631-6405691
  • Provides SSN-21 Class application guidance for components in RBP area
NAVSEA Drawing 631-7016710 (Sheet 22)
  • Provides SSN-774 Class application guidance for components in RBP area
Joint Fleet Maintenance Manual

Submarine Maintenance Engineering, Planning and Procurement Activity (SUBMEPP)
SUBMEPP provides centralized life-cycle maintenance solutions and support for U.S. Navy submarines and submersibles. SUBMEPP is under the Submarine Directorate of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA).

SUBMEPP
Fred Puchlopek
P.O. Box 7002
Portsmouth, NH 03802-7002

The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA 05) is the technical authority for in-service submarine preservation-related work.

Point of Contact
Ms. Karen Furrer
Naval Sea Systems Command, SEA 05U7T
1333 Isaac Hull Ave., SE
Washington Navy Yard
Washington, DC 20376
(202) 781-4341