By MICHAEL MELIA
GROTON, Conn. (AP) - As it tries to get the most out of its $2.6 billion attack submarines, the U.S. Navy is finding a lot depends on the right paint job.
A new painting process that helps keep marine life from fouling the hulls is among dozens of innovations aimed at reducing the maintenance needs for attack submarines, which are coming out of service faster than they can be replaced.
The changes were developed by private and government shipyards in response to a request from the Navy, which wants to squeeze more service life out of each vessel.
Other updates include water-resistant grease for hatches, a special coating on the metal rods that extend the bow planes to minimize deposits, and redesigned bearings to improve support of the propeller shaft.
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