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SP awarded engineering and materials contract by US Department of Defense

By IBI Magazine

SP has been contracted by M Ship Co to undertake structural engineering and supply all of the composite materials for the impressive double M-hull of the M80 Stiletto, a revolutionary vessel for the US Department of Defense, which is designed to provide remarkable stability, smooth ride quality and minimal wake at high speeds. The project will be carried out at the Knight & Carver Yacht Center in San Diego, California.

The structural engineering, including concept development, Finite Element Analysis and laminate schedule will be managed by SP's UK-based engineering office, renowned for its work on other military and commercial vessels, such as the VSV (Very Slender Vessel), US Marine Assault Craft, British Ministry of Defence patrol boat, the Swedish Defence Ministry (FmV) Patrol Boat, the Dutch Navy Patrol Boat and the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) rescue vessels, where SP has provided engineering consultancy and materials for over 15 years.

"The M80 Stiletto has a radical hull form, so our approach to the engineering will need to match this, with innovative, 'out of the box' solutions," says Alex Shimell, engineering manager at SP.

In addition to providing structural engineering consultancy, SP is supplying the advanced composite materials for the M80 Stiletto.

Although the final laminate schedule will be determined by the engineering analysis, it will be based on SP's patented SPRINT system with carbonfibre in combination with Core-Cell structural foam. Ampreg 22 laminating epoxy will also be used for the hull bottom and secondary bonding. Epoxy has proven to be the highest performing of all resin options, and has been used in many other marine projects such as America’s Cup yachts, as well as aerospace and Formula 1 applications - all of which demand high mechanical properties in terms of strength, stiffness, toughness and fatigue resistance.

Sanctioned by the US Department of Defense's Office of Force Transformation and Naval Undersea Warfare Center, work on the M80 Stiletto is expected to begin on November 1, 2004.

(25 October 2004)




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