The Answer Is

August 2023
By: By Albert J. Moore Jr.

Q: My employer asked me to look into what is involved to take on work for the U.S. Navy. We have an opportunity to quote a job that is required to meet Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) S9074-AR-GIB-010/278, Requirements for Fabrication Welding and Inspection, and Casting Inspection and Repair for Machinery, Piping, and Pressure Vessels. Just the length of the title is a little intimidating and, frankly, I don’t know where to start. Can you provide me with an outline of what it would take to gear up for this type of work? I appreciate any help you can offer.

A: That is a big chunk of meat your employer is biting off. If this is a one-time project, walk away and don’t look back. However, if your employer is looking at NAVSEA work as a new long-term market, then I say, “Dive in and hold on tight!”


Navy Standards. First off, there is an upper-tier military standard that defines the item that needs to be constructed (i.e., a ship, a motor, a radar system). That upper-tiered document references many lower-tiered documents, of which NAVSEA S9074-AR-GIB-010/278 is one. This document governs any equipment, piping systems, or pressure vessels that go inside the ship. Other examples include NAVSEA T9074-AD-GIB-1688 Rev 1, Requirements for Fabrication, Welding, and Inspection of Submarine Structure, which covers the fabrication requirements for the hull of a submarine, and MIL-STD-1689A, Fabrication, Welding, and Inspection of Ships Structure, which covers the hull structure of a surface ship.

The three Navy standards mentioned will reference other lower-tiered documents that may be applicable to the fabrication of the item being constructed. By now, you may be realizing the pile of military standards and specifications is growing higher and higher. Don’t let it overwhelm you because most won’t apply to your project; just know that they exist.

You mentioned NAVSEA S9074-AR-GIB-010/278, so that will be our starting point. Without going into too much detail, it includes the requirements for quality assurance, materials, welding, design, and inspection. It includes lower-tier military specifications for the qualification of nondestructive examination (NDE) personnel; raw materials such as base metals, filler metals, valves, pipe, and pipe fittings; and more.

NAVSEA T9074-AS-GIB-010/271 Rev 1, Requirements for Nondestructive Testing Methods, is one of the lower-tier documents. It covers the qualification requirements of NDE personnel. ASNT SNT-TC-1A, Personnel Qualification and Certification in Nondestructive Testing, is the basis of how NDE personnel are qualified and certified, but those recommendations are modified by NAVSEA T9074-AS-GIB-010/278 Rev 1. The NDE operator (similar to the Level I), NDE inspector (similar to the Level II), and NDE examiner (similar to the Level III) must recertify by written examinations. Because AWS’s QC1 program and ASNT’s SNT-TC-1A permits recertification by means other than written examinations, the Certified Welding Inspector and Senior Certified Welding Inspector as well as individuals certified as a Level I, II, and III do not meet the requirement of NAVSEA T9074-AS-GIB-010/271 Rev 1. The contractor is responsible for verifying the vendors providing NDE services and their NDE personnel are properly qualified and certified. One way to separate those people qualified to SNT-TC-1A vs. NAVSEA T9074-AS-GIB-010/271 Rev 1 is to ask to see copies of the NDE personnel’s most recent examinations and test scores. This is an important question to ask because to meet the requirements of NAVSEA T9074-AS-GIB-010/271 Rev 1, all NDE personnel must be requalified by written examination. Unlike SNT-TC-1A, certifications cannot be extended by continued satisfactory performance.


NDE Examiner. A key person in any NDE program is the NDE examiner. There are numerous functions that must be performed by the NDE examiner. They may be an employee or hired through an outside agency. When the service of an examiner is secured through an outside agency, their qualifications have to be reviewed and approved by the contractor to ensure they are properly qualified and certified in accordance with NAVSEA T9074-AS-GIB-010/271 Rev 1. Then authorization is granted by the contractor for the examiner to act on matters related to NDE on behalf of the contractor. A letter of agreement must be issued describing the scope of work that will be performed by the NDE examiner. Those functions typically include the following:

  • Developing the welder workmanship program,
  • Providing training to the welders and NDE personnel,
  • Performing the requisite audits of the welder qualification program,
  • Performing the annual technical performance evaluation of the NDE personnel,
  • Reviewing and approval of NDE documentation submitted by subcontractors and vendors, and
  • Developing and approving the written practice that describes how the contractor qualifies and certifies NDE personnel and qualifies outside vendors to provide NDE services.

Welding Procedures, Welders. NAVSEA S9074-AQ-GIB-010/248 Rev 1, Requirements for Welding and Brazing Procedure and Performance Qualification, is another lower-tier document referenced by NAVSEA S9074-AR-GIB-010/278. It addresses how welding procedures and welders are qualified. The purchase order or special provisions issued by the shipyard often include additional requirements for how a welding procedure specification (WPS) is qualified. One provision often included is the review and approval of radiographs of the welded qualification coupon by the shipyard before the qualification coupon is sliced and diced for mechanical testing. All WPSs must be submitted for review and approval before production welding can start.

NDE performed on the welded qualification coupon must be performed by individuals qualified in accordance with NAVSEA T9074-AS-GIB-010/271 Rev 1. Qualification to ASNT SNT-TC-1A is not sufficient.

There are several elements to welder qualification. Each welder must complete a welder workmanship training course and pass a written examination to ensure they understand the requirements of each NAVSEA standard that applies to the work. Typically, as a minimum, the welder workmanship training must cover NAVSEA S9074-AR-GIB-010/278; MIL-STD-22D, Welded Joint Design; and MIL-STD-2035A, Nondestructive Testing Acceptance Criteria. The welder also has to weld a coupon and pass an annual visual acuity examination. The welder must pass the visual acuity examination every year and pass the welder workmanship examination every three years. The welder workmanship training program must be approved by the NDE examiner and possibly a shipyard or an authorized NAVSEA representative. The welder qualification program has to be audited every two years and certified by the examiner as being fully functional and properly implemented.

Raw materials, including filler metals for welding, must be ordered to a military specification. When AWS filler metals are used, they must be ordered to the applicable AWS A5.X filler metal specification with testing by the manufacturer to Schedule J.

Your incoming/receiving inspectors must segregate the incoming materials from the other stock until it has been checked and accepted as meeting the appropriate military standard. The materials received must have the supporting certified material test reports (CMTRs) issued by the manufacturer. The incoming/receiving inspectors have to check the CMTRs against the applicable material specification to ensure the chemistry is within permitted ranges, the mechanical properties are acceptable, and they must verify the heat/lot numbers on the CMTR matches the information marked on the material. The “approved” materials can then be moved into stock. Raw materials used for military work must be stored separately from those materials ordered to commercial material specifications. Commercial materials cannot be commingled with material used for military work. 


Drawings. There’s one last subject to consider, drawings. These are supposed to include the classification of the welds. The classification of the welds — M for machinery, P for piping, and A for pressure vessels — determine what examinations must be performed on the welds and to what extent they must be tested. The classification of the welds also determines the inspection class for acceptance. The inspection class determines how much undercut is permitted, how much and how large spatter is allowable, how much weld face reinforcement is acceptable, etc. If the weld classification isn’t listed by the drawings, ask your customer to provide the missing information. It is better to find out each weld must pass radiography before you start the job rather than after the weldment is completed and ready to ship.


Procedures. Your employer will have to develop several procedures that will describe how certain functions or processes are controlled. The following is a partial list of the procedures your employer will have to develop:

  1. The written practice for the qualification and certification of NDE personnel
  2. NDE procedures
  3. Welder workmanship training
  4. Procedure for the procurement and control of filler metals
  5. Procedure for the inspection of incoming materials
  6. Procedure for the storage of approved raw stock
  7. Procedure for control materials and maintaining material traceability
  8. Other procedures, as needed, to meet the requirements of the applicable military standards and the customer


Review the Request for Quotation and More. I’ve tried to highlight some of the common areas that catch new contractors off guard. Make sure you review the request for quotation and purchase order closely and pay attention to additional requirements issued by the shipyard or customer. Those additional provisions are intended to clarify some of the provisions included in the military standards or they may include additional requirements invoked by the customer. If you are working through an intermediary, make sure they have provided your employer with any “special provisions” included in the original purchase order. Just because the procedures are not requested as part of your quote, don’t think for a minute they aren’t required. They can be requested at any time before, during, or after construction. The job might be completed and shipped before the U.S. Navy comes in and asks to review the procedures, certifications, and to verify that all the procedures have the necessary approvals.


Conclusion. I hope this review is informative. It isn’t all-inclusive and doesn’t cover all the nuances, but it should give you a general idea of 
what’s required to weld to U.S. Navy requirements.  


The Society is not responsible for any statements made or opinions expressed herein. Data and information developed by the authors are for specific informational purposes only and are not intended for use without independent, substantiating investigation on the part of potential users.

ALBERT J. MOORE JR. ( is president and owner of NAVSEA Solutions/Marion Testing & Inspection, Burlington, Conn. He is an AWS Senior Certified Welding Inspector, an NDT Examiner per NAVSEA TP271, and an ASNT SNT-TC-1 Level III. He is also a member of the AWS Qualification & Certification Committee and the B1 Committee on Methods of Inspection.