Navy Submarine Crew Tests New & Improved Steam Suit

By Yolanda R. Arrington
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

USS Toledo sailors got the chance to test out a prototype submarine steam suit at Naval Submarine Base New London. The Navy Clothing and Textile Research Facility is developing the next generation of protective gear to ensure the safety of first responders who fix steam line leaks aboard submarines. If those pressurized steam lines break, sailors could be injured or even killed by the high temperature steam.

“In the unlikely event this piece of damage control equipment is needed, time is of the essence to protect not only the individual, but the entire boat,” ONR Command Master Chief Matt Matteson said, according to the Office of Naval Research. “The new steam suit provides enhanced flexibility, maneuverability and ease of donning during such an emergency.”

Sailors can get into the new suits in half the time it takes to get suited up in the current version. While the current model of the steam suit works well, the Navy is open to suggestions from sailors on how to make them even better. ONR’s rapid-response science and technology program,TechSolutions, took on the task of upgrading the suit.

The new suit even comes with an upgraded pair of gloves that allow sailors to have a more firm grasp of their repair equipment.

Tests of the new suit will continue, then suggested improvements will be made. The suit could be available to sailors in a couple of years.

RELATED LINK: Taking the Heat: Navy Tests New Submarine Steam Suits

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