Design and Manufacturing Process Automation for Next-Generation Composite Missile Canisters

Period of Performance: 01/31/2011 - 01/31/2013


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Kazak Composites, Inc.
Woburn, MA 01801
Principal Investigator


Large Navy missiles such as SM-3 and SM-6 are designed to be transported, stored and launched from 20-foot long, 25-inch square steel canisters. One canister of specific interest to the Navy is the Mk 21 Mod 2. Current Navy launch systems must maintain a fixed maximum total weight of the canister plus enclosed missile. New missiles are expected to grow substantially in weight to meet increasingly sophisticated future performance requirements. To offset the expected growth in missile weight, the weight of the current steel canister must be considerably reduced. Building on the successes of Phase I that examined potential corner designs that were able to withstand a 100 psi internal pressure load, this Phase II program will continue to develop a composite missile canister for VLS applications. Major objectives of the program include 1) creating designs for Mk21 and Mk25 ( Quad Pack ) canister shells that include connector and access door cutouts and proper attachment points for metal hardware; 2) conduct trade studies for corner reinforcement materials; 3) design and manufacture production pultrusion tooling, 4) manufacture prototype Mk21 canister shells using pultrusion and assemble with attachment hardware and 5) conduct static, dynamic, pressure and thermal loading tests (sub-scale and full-scale prototypes).