Exterior non-skid on SSBN-731
Exterior non-skid on USS Alabama (SSBN-731).

Non-skid coatings are applied on the topside surfaces of submarines to provide slip resistance, primarily for personnel safety during deck operations. The coating must be able to withstand foot damage, equipment damage, sunlight, and the harsh marine environment.

Typical Coatings Used

Nonskid on Steel Substrate

Nonskid coatings are applied over an anti-corrosive paint system on external surfaces subject to foot traffic. The nonskid coatings are high performance, textured, organic materials that provide a slip resistant surface on the superstructure and main deck. Nonskid coatings are formulated to the requirements of MIL-PRF-24667 and can be applied by spraying, rolling, or trowelling. NSTM Chapter 634, Deck Coverings, provides information on the installation and maintenance of nonskid coatings in non-SHT applications.

Nonskid applied to SHT

Deck areas covered with SHT have special nonskid paint systems. For SSN688 Class submarines,
SHT tiled deck areas receive a nonskid paint system prepared with MIL-DTL-24631A, Navy Formula 184, and a sandblast grit material. The abrasive grit material (MIL-A-22262) is cast uniformly on a surface freshly painted with Navy Formula 184. Additional coats of Navy Formula 184 are applied over the abrasive grit as sealer coats. Polyurethane paint, MIL-DTL-24631A, Navy Formula 187 may be substituted as the sealer topcoat in order to provide improved protection against chalking and fading. Refer to NAVSEA Drawing 606-5005466 Rev E or later for nonskid painting requirements, including but not limited to location and extent of application.

On SSN21 and SSN774 Class submarines, deck areas covered with SHT/MIP-SHT receive a nonskid paint system that is slightly different than the paint system used in similar areas on earlier class submarines. The initial coat is either MIL-DTL-24631A, Navy Formula 184 or Amercoat 3273. Abrasive grit per MIL-A-22262 is cast uniformly on the freshly painted surface to provide the nonskid characteristic of the coating system. The topcoat is a single coat of MIL-DTL-24631A, Formula 187.

Specific guidance on the application and repair of nonskid deck paint applied over SHT/MIP-SHT

SSN-688 Class – Technical Handbook for Special Hull Treatment Maintenance and Repair for Submarines: NAVSEA S6360-AD-HBK-010. For Fairing Compound, use NAVSEA Drawing 605-6160358.

SSN-21 Class – Submarine Mold-in-Place Special Hull Treatment a and Repair Manual: NAVSEA S6360-AN-MMA-010/SHT

SSN-774 Class – Maintenance and Repair Manual for Virginia Class Submarine Mold-in-Place Special Hull Treatment: NAVSEA S6360-AV-MMA-010

Surface Preparation

To ensure proper coating adhesion, special attention should be paid to surface preparation of this area. All surface preparation work must be accomplished in accordance with NSI 009-32 and Submarine Maintenance Standard (SMS) 6310-081-015 – Submarine Preservation.

Depot Repairs

For Depot repairs, refer to Submarine Maintenance Standard (SMS) 6310-081-015 – Submarine Preservation and NAVSEA Standard Item (NSI) 009-32. NSI 009-32 is the governing document for preservation requirements.

Submariner Repairs

Submariners are primarily responsible for maintaining the submarine’s exterior nonskid coating system until repair activity maintenance is scheduled. Naval Ships’ Technical Manual: Chapter 634 (NSTM 634), Deck Coverings – General provides requirements, instructions, and guidance for surface preparation and coating application.

New Construction

New construction ships are painted in accordance with the ship build specification for that class of submarine.

SUBMEPP Point of Contact

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).

Brandon Wohl
(207) 438-6198.

NAVSEA Point of Contact

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

Kevin Klucher
Naval Sea Systems Command, SEA 05
(202) 618-4167