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Industry News
KaZaK, Raytheon complete composites design for Zumwalt

KaZaK Composites Inc. has teamed up with Raytheon IDS and completed the design phase of the composite ballistic screen for integration onboard the Zumwalt-class destroyer (DDG 1000).

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Posted on: 12/7/2009
Source: CompositesWorld

KaZaK Composites Inc. (Woburn, Mass., USA) announced on Dec. 1 that the company has teamed up with Raytheon IDS and completed the design phase of the composite ballistic screen for integration onboard the Zumwalt-class destroyer (DDG 1000). KaZaK recently joined Raytheon and the U.S. Navy to celebrate as the technology formally transitioned to Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase III production — a critical milestone for an SBIR program.

"The Phase III production contract is a big win for the entire KaZaK team," said John Schickling, EVP/COO of KaZaK Composites, Inc. "The engineering team worked closely with Raytheon IDS to come up with a solution that achieved their goal of providing ballistic screens for the Zumwalt-class destroyer that was both effective and cost efficient."

The pre-SBIR concept design for the Zumwalt-class destroyer ballistic screens used ceramics and a composites molding process that were not cost effective for this application. "KaZaK's use of the pultrusion manufacturing process contributes to significant cost savings for the U.S. Navy," said Jerome Fanucci, president/CEO of KaZaK. "We were able to design the ballistic screens to the specifications set forth by the U.S. Navy in a cost effective manner through the use of proprietary KaZaK manufacturing processes that are less labor intensive, thereby reducing the overall cost of the new design."

Working closely with the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) acquisition team, KaZaK and Raytheon initiated an accelerated design, prototyping and test program in 2008. The prototype and subsequent full-scale designs were iterated and validated through successful live-fire testing in 2008 and 2009. NAVSEA provided a prime contract modification to Raytheon for mission systems equipment. This enabled a SBIR Phase III subcontract award to KaZaK in September 2009 for long-lead material to produce the ballistic screens for the first two Zumwalt ship sets. It is estimated that KaZaK’s contributions could potentially save the U.S. Navy an estimated $10 million per ship.

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