The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced on June 16 that Pacific Engineering Inc. (PEI, Roca, Neb., USA), a company dedicated to the development of advanced composite structures for military and commercial applications, is a winner of the coveted 2014 Best in SBIR (Small Business Innovative Research) Award, also called the Tibbets Award. This award places Pacific Engineering in an elite class of innovative companies and recognizes its performance in the design and development of key elements of the U.S. Navy’s Surface Ship Torpedo System (SSTD).
The SSTD program provides a detect-to-engage hard kill torpedo defense capability for high-value units (HVU) such as aircraft carriers and supply ships. In 2011, Admiral Greenert, Chief of Naval OperaHons (CNO), directed the Naval Sea Systems Command, PEO-Sub, Undersea Defense Warfare Systems Program Office, PMS 415 SSTD team to accelerate its program to build, test and install a rapid prototype torpedo defense capability on a deploying aircraft carrier in less than two years. PEI designed and manufactured the Ready Stow Group (RSG) Launch Cradle which holds the Countermeasure Anti-Torpedo Torpedo (CAT), as well as the All-Up Round Equipment (AURE) Composite Canister which houses the torpedo.
The ultimate measure of an SBIR success story is the transition of a company’s innovative technology to actual practice. PEI’s effort was successfully completed in just nine months from receipt of the SBIR Phase II contract to delivery of hardware. PEI’s RSGs and AURE Composite Canisters are installed on the U.S.S. G.W.H. Bush (CVN 77), providing forward maritime presence as part of the SSTD “Family of Systems” in the Carrier Strike Force Group.
“Our ability to design and manufacture these critical SSTD elements in just nine months demonstrates the accelerated speed at which a small company can work, as well as the technical capabilities of our company,” says Dexter Myers, VP of PEI. “Receiving the 2014 Tibbets Award is a tremendous honor and recogniton of our efforts as well as that of the entire SSTD team.”