USS Virginia (SSN 774) is moved outdoors at the General
Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard. U.S. Navy photo by General
Dynamics, Electric Boat Division.

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.

Typical Coatings Used

Antifouling coatings are applied on top of the anticorrosive on exterior surfaces to prevent marine growth. The bow dome of submarines are coated with an anticorrosive and antifouling paint system. The anticorrosive component of the coating system protects the substrate from the seawater, while the antifouling paint is necessary to help reduce drag in the water. The anticorrosive and antifouling coating system used should be in accordance with MIL-PRF-23236, Coatings Systems for Ship Structures, MIL-DTL-24441, Paint, Epoxy-Polyamide, General Specification for, and MIL-PRF-24647, Paint System, Anticorrosive and Antifouling, Ship Hull as specified in Submarine Maintenance Standard (SMS) 6310-081-015 – Submarine Preservation and NAVSEA Standard Item (NSI) 009-32. A booted GRP dome will require a coating qualified to MIL-DTL-24631, Navy Formula 187 during installation.

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 NSI 009-32. NSI 009-32 is the governing document for preservation requirements.

Submariner Repairs

Submariners are primarily responsible for maintaining the submarine bow dome coating systems until repair activity maintenance is scheduled. Naval Ships Technical Manual: Chapter 631 (NSTM 631), Preservation of Ships in Service – 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.