SBIR Phase I and II
The U.S. Navy must be prepared for any type of action and be able to adapt as the nature of conflicts changes over time. A recent challenge the Navy faced was to improve the mission capability of their high-speed small craft platforms (RIBs) by increasing payload without increasing the overall weight of the boat. Structural Composites was awarded SBIR Phase I and Phase II contracts for Advanced Combatant Craft for Increased Affordability and Mission Performance.
For crew safety reasons, the ship’s davit must lift the dead weight of the RIB, plus its load of combatants, weapons, and supplies from the deck to the water. Traditional davit designs place a limit on the total weight of the RIB and its contents. To accommodate more crew and equipment without changing the boat’s davit load rating, the RIB had to become much lighter.
This significant weight reduction required a complete structural redesign. Our engineers transformed the boat’s hull structure into a low section PRISMA framework with membrane-tensioned design concepts. These concepts are common in the aircraft industry.
The Phase II base contract provided for the construction and evaluation of one 7M RIB and the Phase II option provided funding for a Gen3 advanced construction lightweight 7M Fleet Ready RIB.
Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF)
SBIR Phase III
Structural Composites was awarded a rapid innovation fund (RIF) contract for Affordable Multi-fuel Multi-engine Advanced Combatant Craft. In this 2.5 year program, we tested and the Navy qualified advanced composite RIB craft and developmental diesel/multi-fuel engines for rapid insertion into the Fleet. Two SLE craft and two newly produced advanced combatant craft were designed, tested and delivered. Four different multi-fuel engine brands were developed and tested with the craft. A Navy SBIR success story is public at this link: