On Monday, Oct. 8, 2012, Structural Composites (Melbourne, Fla.) was awarded the Congressional Medal of Merit for the second time. Congressman Bill Posey (the U.S. representative from the 15th District of Florida) presented the Innovative Technology Award, which recognizes the strides Structural Composites has made in developing and prototyping an Advanced Combatant Craft for the U.S. Navy.
The 8.5M (850B) Prototype Advanced Combatant Craft (one of three advanced models) has a hull and deck structure that is 40 percent lighter than the current construction. The innovative design features Structural Composites' lightweight PRISMA preforms, which allow for a structure that is lighter and less expensive than sandwich composite construction yet gives the structure toughness, durability and ease of maintenance only possible with single-skin design, says the company. The design also features a suspended deck that helps mitigate shock loads due to wave impacts. Significantly, the award recognizes success in reducing manufacturing costs.
Structural Composites' president Scott Lewit commented, “Performance improvement, reduction of acquisition cost and reducing operational costs are major focus areas for our military, and we are glad to play a role in supporting this important mission. We are also leveraging this same low-cost technology to reduce the cost and improve the efficiency of recreational boats, RVs, buses and trucks. We believe that these improvements are essential to helping industry adapt to the reality of today’s fuel prices and, perhaps as importantly, to be ready for the alternative propulsion systems of the future.”
Lewit continues. “We are honored to receive this very special award. I want to recognize the contribution we have received from the Navy technical community at the Combatant Craft Division of NSWC and our team members (SCRA [Columbia, S.C.], Brunswick Boats [Lake Forest, Ill.], Lockheed Martin [Bethesda, Md.] and Zodiac Boats [Stephensville, Md.]). I also want to give special thanks to the State of Florida for supporting innovation and job creation and the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research [Boca Raton, Fla.], which provided grant funding to further enhance our federally funded efforts."
For more information, contact Scott Lewitt, (321) 252-4566.