US Navy submarine spotted with massive damage to its “stealth” coating
A Virginia class attack submarine is struggling to make it in the high seas, particularly in regards to her “stealth” coating.
The USS Colorado (SSN 788) was spotted with significant cracking along her hull, though she remained structurally sound and the damage appeared to only affect the Special Hull Treatment, an anechoic coating used to absorb sound waves.
To be fair, the USS Colorado’s recent deployment had it travel approximately 39,000 nautical miles during the deployment, meaning it more or less went the same distance one would travel if going around the world twice.
Also, it should also be noted that the Colorado was in harsher northern waters, which can take a toll on any vessel.
However, given the cost of the technology, associated costs of applying the coatings and the drag caused by uneven surfaces, the significant wear is anything but ideal.
According to Forbes, the US, British and Russian navies all struggle with the coating eventually coming off, particularly in colder waters, but the case of the Colorado is rather unique- the sub was on her first deployment.
The 15th Virginia-Class submarine and the fifth of the enhanced Block-III models, the Colorado was constructed by Huntington Ingalls Industries in partnership with the Electric Boat division of General Dynamics in Newport News, Virginia, with the initial contract awarded on 22 December 2008.
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