They are lighter than metals of equal performance, can be functionalised, are insensitive to corrosion, guarantee high resistance to impact or fatigue, facilitate in-service support (ISS) operations and can take any form: composite materials offer new opportunities to meet the operational needs of navies.
With the rise of threats in complex environments, ships must be increasingly communicative, mobile and stealthy. A situation which, combined with the development of combat systems based on connected electronics, has led to a desire to integrate numerous items of equipment into the upper parts or directly into the hull.
To meet this dual challenge, recent breakthroughs in the field of assembly technologies, fire behaviour and multifunctional materials provide answers in the quest for weight reduction and improved stealth while guaranteeing a level of fire safety equivalent to what already exists.
A comprehensive architectural vision
With over 60 years of experience in the integration of composite materials on board and continued investment in R&D, Naval Group is well equipped to offer new architectural solutions with a positive impact on ship mobility and stability. Overcoming certain technological barriers associated with the freedom of form provided by composites offers a great opportunity to improve the design and on-board integration of fixed or mobile structures (superstructures on surface ships, on submarines), directly integrating all kinds of sensors.
Demonstrating and exchanging at the NID
Guided by the ideas of reducing the number of visible antennas, reducing the ships weight and integrating functional devices and systems into the supporting structures, Naval Group teams presented the ongoing developments and studies, including flat antennas, thrusters and decoy tubes for surface ships, and mast sections and the bridge fin for submarines. It was also a great opportunity to discuss innovations, which best meet the specifications of navies, that could be qualified and then retained for deployment on future programs or during modernisation projects.