3-D Mechanical Iris Missile Tube Forward Closure

Period of Performance: 02/11/2014 - 08/15/2014


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

ADA Technologies, Inc.
8100 Shaffer Parkway Array
Littleton, CO 80127
Principal Investigator


The Navy Ohio Replacement Ballistic Missile Submarine Program is a major endeavor aiming at designing and building a new class of 12 ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) to replace the current force of SSBNs. Current Ohio-Class SSBNs are armed with Trident ballistic missiles or Tomahawk missiles if converted to guided missile submarines (SSGNs). These missiles are launched from vertical launch tubes. Prior to launch, they must be protected from the pressure of the ocean environment and be launched unobstructed from the capsule. Currently, capsules utilize disposable composite structures to protect the payload from hydrostatic pressure. A non-destructive, reusable closure would reduce the systematic capsule maintenance following a launch and eliminate launch debris. ADA Technologies is proposing to develop and test a fast-actuating, completely reusable capsule closure meeting the key Navy requirements. The selected design utilizes an innovative dome constructed of eight petal-shaped structures that neatly fold within themselves when actuated. The iris-like approach minimizes actuation forces and dome storage volume while maximizing free payload passage for unimpeded launch, even in the event of power loss. ADA has established key collaborations with Newport News Shipbuilding and Moog to ensure successful technical development of the proposed innovation.