As the reach of anti-ship missiles lengthens, and their killing power improves, various forms of naval stealth are moving from research curiosities and cameo roles in James Bond films to design and deployment at sea. Materials science is an important component of that effort, and features prominently in stealth ships like Sweden’s Visby Class corvettes and Norway’s Skjold Class air cushioned catamaran corvettes.
Small business qualifier Materials Sciences Corp. in Horsham, PA received a $24.6 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase III cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for “continued research, development, and application of advanced metallic and non-metallic materials in existing and new Navy structures and machinery. The research and development of these materials will provide for improved structural, electrical and thermal performance of radar absorption materials.”
SBIR Phase III means the technology is moving out of the research phase and into commercialization/ production. Work will be performed in Horsham, PA (80%); Philadelphia, Pa. (5 percent); West Bethesda, Md. (5 percent); Washington, D.C. (5 percent); and Gulfport, Miss. (5 percent), and work is expected to be completed by September 2013. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured with one proposal solicited and oneoffer received via the Phase III SBIR program. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (N65540-08-D-0011).