Austal USA says that it has worked very closely with its U.S. Navy partners to achieve a comprehensive corrosion management solution for the Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) class.
"The Navy and Austal team have a solid understanding of corrosion mitigating measures," said the shipbuilder's President and Chief Operating Officer Joe Rella, "it's often an unpredictable and irregular war that is fought every single day on the waterfront, and the Navy has been a very active partner as the Navy/Austal USA team plotted out the appropriate mix of active and passive anti-corrosion measures developed from first in class outcomes for the next ten hulls."
Impressed current cathodic protection systems, already in place on the Westpac Express, an Austal-built civilian vessel that has served the U.S. Marine Corps for the past decade, are set to be tested over the coming months on the Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships and ultimately, put into place on the Jackson (LCS 6).
"Not only do the active systems help eliminate the stray currents that cause galvanic corrosion," said Rella, "they can also alert the operators and maintainers if the ship is at risk of accelerated corrosion."
Passive measures are important as well, and the Coronado (LCS 4) will get new anti-corrosion surface treatments to better protect the water jet tunnels and associated structure from galvanic corrosion.
"Austal USA experts talk with Navy specialists every day about these and other issues," continued Rella, "and we are eager to move beyond short-term remediation and help the Navy, from the design stage on, apply the best practices in corrosion management to the entire Independence-variant LCS class."
Austal says it looks forward to deepening its collaboration with the Navy in fielding cutting-edge, labor-saving solutions for the Navy's ongoing battle with the elements.
"Corrosion is always a factor," said Mr. Rella, "but with Jackson (LCS 6), we will deliver to the Navy an array of tested corrosion-management tools and processes--tools and processes that will allow our Navy partners to get these innovative, versatile platforms out into the field and completing vital national security missions."
June 23, 2011