Page 27

Designing for lean maritime sustainment. Increasingly, the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard have been given modest numbers of very good ships, rather than massive flotillas. Budget pressures require these fleets to be operated as economically as possible and stay on the sea, not in dry docks, as much as possible. That has put two kinds of pressure on the sea services and the private firms that serve them. Existing ships must be sustained as efficiently as is practical, even though sustainment was not necessarily a major consideration in their original design, and some vessels are serving much longer than expected. The second pressure involves new ships. These are already expected to meet extremely demanding targets for mission or combat performance in a high-tech world with many dangers. Now, they must also be designed to minimize sustainment costs, including manpower costs, many decades into the future. This is leading to very ambitious efforts in automation and other technologies. Take the new ship design challenge. Significant but declining cost overruns on the first two Ford-class aircraft carriers have drawn some attention, but the Navy and Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding are constructing extremely advanced, highly capable ships that should save much more money over the long run. For the Ford-class carriers and other new ships, Ingalls used stateof-the-art reliability software to develop mathematical models and computer simulations. These guide system design and help predict overall performance of deployed systems. The Navy originally estimated that Ford-class carriers would save $4 billion to $6 billion of 2012 dollars in total ownership cost (TOC) compared to Nimitz-class carriers. Most recently, the Navy has estimated $4 billion in savings. These TOC costs include acquisition cost itself, plus manpower, unit operations, sustaining support, modernization, maintenance and disposal, all over the 50-year life of each ship. Ford-class carriers will be equipped with two newly designed reactors; each carrier has 250 percent more electrical capacity than previous carriers. The improvements will allow the ships to load weapons and launch aircraft faster than ever before. The flight decks of the new carriers have been completely redesigned and rearranged. This yields a dramatic 25-percent increase in the volume of launch and recover aircraft missions. If an aircraft carrier’s final output is aircraft missions, this is a major productivity gain. To achieve many of the improvements in the Ford class, Newport News Shipbuilding used a full-scale three-dimensional product model to design and plan construction. Substantial investment in this capability enables visual integration in design, engineering, planning and construction. The Ford-class ships are the first aircraft carriers to be designed in a full-scale 3-D product model. The ships are also the first carriers to achieve a significant increase in electrical power, replacing many legacy steam-powered systems. This shift will prepare the ships for future, better-performing and cost-saving technologies. The Ford-class’s electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS) replaces steam catapults. EMALS should enable smoother launches

By Henry Canaday, MLF Correspondent

for future aircraft. And 4 million feet of highly efficient fiber-optic cable is installed on Ford. Overall, the new carriers are the most efficient ever built, and this should reduce maintenance expenditures by 30 percent over the life of the ships. The ships’ design also enables the Navy to operate them with substantially less manpower. In addition, 9,900 tons of air conditioning equipment reduces maintenance work required for humidity damage. The equipment also reduces required manning in hot spaces. About 44,000 highefficiency fluorescent T-8 light bulbs are on each Ford-class carrier, yielding more light and lasting nearly twice as long as conventional bulbs. Another maintenance saver is software-controlled advanced arresting gear, which recovers smaller aircraft with less wear and tear. Lockheed Martin used a low-manning concept in designing the littoral combat ship (LCS) because manpower is typically over half of total life cycle costs. To reduce LCS life cycle costs significantly, required manpower had to be reduced. Bradley Jackson, program manager of sustainment and class services for LCS at Lockheed, said this was achieved in several ways. First, the LCS maximizes use of automation to reduce manpower, training and logistic costs. The machinery control plant and monitoring system and voyage management systems are examples, according to Jackson. “They provide a level of automation and control that supports bridge operations with as few as three crew members.” Use of the combined diesel and gas turbine engine propulsion plant on the LCS allowed Lockheed to use the most efficient propulsion system that would meet LCS requirements. “For example, we meet the ship’s sprint requirements with use of the gas turbine engines and can support the endurance requirements by operating solely on diesel engines, which also allows for lower fuel costs,” Jackson said. In designing the LCS, Lockheed allocated reliability goals to its major vendors to ensure all systems are supportable and that these systems in turn are consistent with the top-level operational availability goal. And modular design of LCS systems allows for easy removals and replacements, which also further the ship’s maintenance concept. A much younger program is proceeding along a similar sustainment path. The Ohio replacement (OR) strategic deterrent is being engineered to provide a capable, supportable nuclear deterrent that is also the most survivable of the nuclear triad, and all this will last until late into the 21st century. Will Lennon, vice president of engineering and design programs at General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB) in Groton, Conn., said the OR will replace 14 Ohio-class fleet ballistic missile submarines currently in service and scheduled to be retired starting in 2027. “Affordability principles are driven into the OR design early, from major arrangement configurations to individual components, and from acquisition through life cycle,” Lennon stressed. The OR is designed to be operated and maintained by a capable crew and supporting infrastructure. Design-build-sustain teams are now developing the design and incorporating human factor aspects, including use of a mixed-gender crew as a design requirement. MLF  9.6 | 17

Mlf 9 6 final

Mlf 9 6 final