Advanced structures and composites

Advanced structures and composites

Building on decades of experience and substantial recent investment in advanced composite materials and processes, Marshall develops and delivers durable and robust structures and complex subsystems for the most extreme land-based and maritime environments, considering both current and future mission requirements.

Our products have included radomes, gun shields, launch tubes and decoy systems, as well as submarine rudders, hydroplanes, ducts, sonar housings and periscope fairings.

Our state-of-the-art advanced composites facility in North Yorkshire has consistently been awarded top supplier status by long-standing customers, including BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and Lockheed Martin, for our ability to deliver on time and to the highest quality and safety standards.

Whether working from pre-defined user requirements or from a blank slate, few companies can match Marshall’s depth of expertise and breadth of capabilities. Our NADCAP-accredited engineering team includes structural, composites, electrical, interior, integration, systems, stress, weight and fluid dynamics designers.

No matter how bespoke, complex or challenging their requirements, we take projects all the way from specification and design through to manufacturing, testing, qualification, integration and support. We are able to flexibly scale to meet project needs – whether producing a one-off prototype or thousands of units over a yearslong production run.

  • Design
    • Systems design
    • Design engineering
    • Tooling design
    • CATIA programming
  • Manufacturing
    • 3D printing/additive manufacturing
    • Sheet metal fabrication
    • Milling and turning (CNC and manual)
    • Welding
    • Prepreg
    • Resin infusion
    • Filament winding
    • Laser wire printing
    • Curing
    • Trimming
    • Tool and cutter grinding
    • Chemical processing
    • Thermal processing/heat treatment
    • Painting
    • Engraving
    • Pipework
    • Composite assembly
    • Mechanical assembly
    • Electrical assembly
  • Testing
    • Model-based systems engineering (MBSE)
    • Ground/static testing (rig testing)
    • CMM and manual inspection
    • Structural analysis, including fatigue and damage tolerance
    • Flammability exposure testing
    • Factory acceptance testing
  • Qualification
    • Performance and design certification
    • Testing verification
    • Supply chain qualification
  • Integration
    • Fluid dynamics integration
    • Control logic integration
    • Electrical integration
    • Line Replaceable Units (LRUs)
  • Support
    • Spares
    • Non-standard repairs
    • Technical documentation

Weapon system structures

Marshall designs, manufactures and supports a wide range of lightweight corrosion-resistant composite weapon system structures engineered to withstand both the harsh environment in which they are deployed and the launch pressures experienced when firing.

Gun shields

Marshall designed and produced the shielding for the Mk 8 Mod 1 anti-aircraft guns on board the Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyer.

The shield’s stealthy low signature design incorporates radar-absorbing materials and provides protection from wave slap, shock, hail and ice impact in addition to the pressures experienced during gun operation.

The composite structure not only provides significant weight saving over its metallic equivalent, but also has impressive resistance to impact and the effects of saltwater.


Torpedo launch tube systems

We have decades of experience designing and manufacturing launch tube systems for lightweight torpedoes.

Consisting of a filament-wound main body that incorporates longitudinal stiffeners and metallic inserts, our systems can be housed internally or mounted above decks, and provide a completely integrated solution ready for final system assembly.

The launch tube systems we currently produce for Systems Engineering & Assessment Ltd. (SEA) are used by a number of navies around the world thanks to their ease of configuration and adaptability to a broad range of naval weapons and ships of varying sizes and structures.

Our previous launch tube support and development projects for SEA include Stingray, MU90, Mk46 and Mk54.

“As our relationship with Marshall continues to grow, we have been continually impressed by the quality and efficiency of their service to enable us to deliver high-quality torpedo launcher systems across the globe.”

Ben Smith

Supply Chain Manager, SEA

Sonobuoy launch mechanisms

For a number of years, Marshall has been supplying Honeywell with launch carousel units used to drop submarine-seeking sonobuoys.

Each carousel holds 10 sonobuoys, which are dropped through apertures in the aircraft floor and can be reloaded in-flight.

Though the carousel was originally developed for use on the Nimrod aircraft, Marshall has updated the design for installation onto S-92 and Wildcat helicopters.

Floating decoy launch tubes

Since 2012, Marshall and IrvinGQ have successfully provided the Royal Navy, US Navy and other international customers with decoy systems, delivering potent distraction and confusion solutions that offer surface protection against anti-ship missiles.

Through our range of composite processing techniques, we manufacture the launcher tube structures used to deploy decoy equipment.



Submarine structures

We produce a range of lightweight, damage-resistant composite submarine structures including rudders, hydroplanes, ducts, sonar housings and periscope fairings.

Engineered to withstand the extremes of an undersea operating environment, our structures are corrosion-resistant, giving them increased durability and resulting in reduced through-life cost. They are able to last extended periods of time in a saltwater environment.

We also ensure suitability for reduced acoustic signatures and radar cross-section using integrated technologies.



Through-life support

We meet our through-life commitments with programmes that provide the evidence needed to underwrite safe operation throughout the life of a component or structure.

We have the experience and capability to produce, procure and test spares at both platform and system level, drawing on our in-house production expertise and mature global supply chain.

We can undertake all aspects of component repair and overhaul, with all repairs designed to maintain structural integrity while reducing fatigue.


Supply chain management

We manage the global supply chain for our advanced structures and composite materials, leveraging our long-term relationships with equipment and material OEMs to provide the required expertise at the right time in the right place.

Our supply chain processes are audited to exacting industry standards and our extensive knowledge of export regulations, including ITAR, helps ensure we maintain a compliant, sustainable and socially responsible procurement process.

We offer extensive warehouse and distribution services, with our warehouse team undertaking all goods receipts, inspection, storage and handling of parts, including dangerous goods.


Continuous improvement

To find and develop the next generation of talent, our advanced composites team in North Yorkshire is investing in record levels of R&D spend, harnessing the expertise of Sharing in Growth (SiG) and subject matter experts to embed best practices and ensure the continued development of our people.

Across our business we are providing consistent upskilling on new manufacturing techniques and technologies, design software, inspection and various testing capabilities. In parallel, we have an ongoing R&D programme to develop new capabilities and skills to prepare ourselves for future requirements.