Submarine ballast tanks are subject to immersion conditions, making the environment extremely corrosive. These tanks are used for diving and surfacing operations by filling with seawater and emptying with compressed air. Ballast tanks are coated with high performance anti-corrosive and anti-fouling coatings to protect the steel from the seawater and marine growth. Submarine ballast tanks are critical structures and contain equipment crucial to the safety of the submarine.
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 NAVSEA Standard Item (NSI) 009-32 and Submarine Maintenance Standard (SMS) 6310-081-015 – Submarine Preservation.
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.
Main ballast tanks are usually not entered by submariners between availabilities but if they need to enter for any reason, 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 submarines are painted in accordance with the submarine 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).
NAVSEA Point of Contact
The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA 05) is the technical authority for in-service submarine preservation-related work.
Naval Sea Systems Command, SEA 05