General Dynamics picks K-TIG’s tech after winning US defence ManTech award

General Dynamics Electric Boat’s Virginia Class submarine. Image credit: General Dynamics, K-TIG

ASX-listed K-TIG Limited announced that its technology has been selected by General Dynamics Electric Boat, a subsidiary of General Dynamics, as part of a US Department of Defence Navy Manufacturing Technology (ManTech)-sponsored program.

Under the project, dubbed ‘Next Generation Autogenous Welding Process and Equipment Development,’ K-TIG’s research and development team will develop the keyhole welding process and parameters for the pipe joints and undertake the initial prototype welding.

If General Dynamics Electric Boat accepts the offer, it will acquire an initial K-TIG system and establish the welding techniques necessary to satisfy US Navy requirements. 

A sale to K-TIG has a financial impact of around AUD 200,000, and each stakeholder is liable for their own project-related expenses.

The ManTech project will be operational from June 2023 until September 2025, and the Advanced Manufacturing Technology (AMT) group will oversee Electric Boat’s ManTech program. 

General Dynamics Electric Boat is expected to make a decision on the procurement of a K-TIG system during the December 2023 quarter.

Adrian Smith, K-TIG Managing Director, said, “This project complements our current US Navy National Shipbuilding Research Program project, to demonstrate the suitability of K-TIG technology for the repair and sustainment of US Warships, which was previously announced in December 2022.”

He also expressed his excitement to be working with General Dynamics Electric Boat and ManTech to demonstrate the benefits of K-TIG technology and its application to the naval and defence sectors.

The ASX-listed company said the ManTech program’s goal is to create an autogenous gas tungsten arc weld (GTAW) utilising a keyhole approach as an alternative to traditional GTAW of pipe joints. 

This method enables the completion of a pipe junction in a single pass and removes the need for filler material, consumable insert rings, and bevel prep. 

It also reduces machining time, filler wire usage, and welding arc time while preserving weld quality, the company revealed. 

Headquartered in Connecticut, General Dynamics Electric Boat designs, builds, repairs and modernises nuclear submarines for the US Navy.