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Willard Marine delivers first 7M fleet ready advanced combatant craft for evaluations

News International-French

14 Apr 2015

Structural Composites is pleased to announce that Willard Marine, Inc. has built and delivered the first 7M Fleet Ready (7MFR) Advanced Combatant Craft for evaluations.

The 7MFR provides the durability and maintainability of solid laminate construction at a weight equal to sandwich construction.

Structural Composites (SC) and the Navy will be testing and qualifying the fleet ready version of the advanced combatant craft. Moving from prototypes to fleet ready craft will allow the Navy to evaluate SC’s SBIR technology in operational conditions, and this advances our Technology Readiness Level to TRL-8.

SC selected Willard Marine to build this unique craft based on their stellar track record of building similar boats for the U.S. Navy. The framed single skin craft features several important innovations, such as a suspended cockpit design that decouples the hull and deck structure to reduce the effect of wave impact on the warfighter. The 7MFR is also the first craft to be “Strain Tuned” using SC’s newly developed CoCure strain tunable resin and coating technology. The hull and deck coatings on the 7MFR have been strain tuned to optimize durability and allow energy absorption without gel coat cracking.

Scott Lewit, President of Structural Composites and inventor of the CoCure technology, states, “We are very excited to be deploying the CoCure strain tuning technology on the Navy craft, as this new technology was derived from our Navy SBIR efforts in Advanced Combatant Craft.  What is really interesting is Florida state grants and commercial investment in the CoCure technology has allowed the Navy to be the early adopter of this new technology. This government commercial technology sharing approach is very leveraging, and we are seeing benefits accumulate for the DOD and the commercial market.  Recreational boat builders such as HydraSports Custom are already taking advantage of the proven aspects of our SBIR technology under our Mil-Tough Rated program which focuses on commercial deployment. This was the enabling technology allowing for successful deployment and performance capabilities of the lightweight HydraSports Custom 53 Sueños, the world’s largest outboard powered center console fishing boat and the winner of the 2015 NMMA Miami Boat Show Innovation Award in the center console category”

Lewit continues, “We have been impressed with the Willard team. The company retains expert craftsmen who produce to exceptional quality standards. The Willard team was able to quickly understand, adapt to, and master the new technologies. They are great partners on this important project.”

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