The FY20 Maintenance and Modernization Plan begins to capture the requirements necessary to maintain the Navy’s fleet mission-ready. This plan forms the basis for future industrial base capacity requirements with the following key themes:
Shows that maintaining and modernizing the fleet requires a sustained and sufficient investment, and a close partnership with the public and private ship repair industrial base.
Demonstrates that as the Navy grows to 355 battle force ships, the demand on the industrial base must change to effectively maintain and modernize a growing and changing fleet. This will require changes to industrial base infrastructure, workforce, and business processes to prepare for the future workload.
Reaffirms that maintenance and modernizations rely on a robust and highly efficient supply chain to deliver material to the fleet. As the fleet grows in size, complexity and age, the supply chain vendor base must deliver the material support necessary to achieve the required level of readiness.
Demonstrates that continued maintenance of ships in accordance with the applicable class maintenance plans is necessary to allow the Navy to achieve the maximum service life of ships and submarines as well as extend the service lives of select classes of ships to achieve a battle force of 355 ships.
This plan describes the Navy’s continued challenges with high-tempo operations that has resulted in a maintenance backlog and reduced readiness rates for Navy ships. It is baselined on the current 2019 inventory and PB-2020 data with updates from the FY 2020 Shipbuilding Plan, planned selected service life extensions and projected decommissionings during the next 30 years.
Navy status updates related to the delivery and subsequent post-delivery period for selected ship platforms have been assessed to determine to what extent Navy provides quality, complete ships to the fleet and sustains the fleet over the service life.
We assessed what work was incomplete or deficient when each case study ship was delivered to the Navy from the shipbuilder, providing updates about the availabilities, tests, and trials each ship completed during the post-delivery period; and the condition of each ship when it was provided to the fleet following the post-delivery period as well as current maintenance actions required for sustainment.
In particular, for the selected ships that have already completed the post-delivery period, we assessed the number and type of deficiencies at the time of ship delivery and tracked these through the post-delivery period into sustainment phase maintenance activities to determine whether they were passed to the fleet core requirements.
For each case study, we reviewed such status updates for delivery, readiness briefings for Board of Inspection/Survey trials, trial cards and reports, Material Inspection and Receiving Report for operational assessments and maintenance availability stats throughout each sustainment phase.
For example, flexible coupling on the starboard main propulsion diesel failed in transit resulting in loss of propulsion to one of the four engine shafts. Couplings were intended to last the life of the ship and no spare parts were available.
Maintenance optimisation models maximise balance between cost/benefit of maintenance. For given system with failure rate profiles of its components and the available maintenance resources, maintenance optimisation model provides the answer to questions like:
“What is the optimal number of maintenance tasks required on this piece of equipment for a given time horizon?”
“When is the appropriate time to execute maintenance action?”
In more complex cases, optimisation model also includes decisions about the spare parts policy for components & estimating number of maintenance crews required in given shift.
Capacity for applications described in this report currently consider only subset of missions and focuses on equipment-specific planning factors.
Future work will expand application to include other missions and will include additions or process advance of existing features—for example, the addition of a consistency test for relative task importance selection.
The first challenge is how to deal with common tasks when considering multiple missions. It may be the case that a single command centre is all that is required to accommodate multiple missions, but the equipment needed to support each mission may differ in some way. In other words, although the task is “common,” there may be unique, mission-specific requirements for accomplishing it.
Second challenge concerns sequencing tasks and assigning relative importance at the task level versus the mission level. A typical example might be transport of equipment to new staging area. If mission A is designated more important than mission B, does that mean that all tasks associated with mission A have absolute priority? If not, how do we provide the user with the ability to designate exceptions at the task level?
Congress provides guidance on accounting for depot maintenance by listing exceptions to the definition. The existing exclusions are confusing. For example, any modification designed to “improve performance” is not considered depot maintenance. The installation of parts for modifications is depot maintenance, but not the acquisition of those parts.
Current acquisition guidance does not provide any emphasis/direction for core assessments. Acquisition policy addressing core maintenance capabilities is largely absent.
Almost all of major programmes failed to identify core requirements within the required timeframe, and many didn’t identify core requirements until either the production/deployment phase or the sustainment phase of the acquisition process.
Delay results in core requirements not being identified early enough in the acquisition process to allow for the establishment of organic core capabilities mandated by DoD policy.
Depot Maintenance Core Capabilities Determination Process, addresses only tasked or fielded systems. It does not cover those systems still in the acquisition process. There also is little, if any, core workload focus on jointly developed systems, resulting in capabilities determinations not up to par.
The Navy reported workload shortfalls in aircraft component, aircraft engines, ships, and communications and electronics. The Navy cited confusion between systems commands and an inability to obtain funds to establish organic capability.
The Navy responds to demands for forces by resourcing a strategy that balances current and long-term readiness requirements by considering: 1) cost to own—maintaining ships and aircraft to ensure expected service life is met; 2) cost to train—producing the proficiency to operate ships and aircraft; 3) cost to operate—based on a fleet response plan FRP that provides deployed and surge-ready units and battle groups to support combatant commander demands.
Alignment of the readiness requirements strategy allows for the balancing of the costs to train and operate flying hour and ship operations accounts with the cost to own, i.e., aviation and ship depot accounts. This balance facilitates the optimisation of achieving the FRP operational availability schedule in framework phases: 1) maintenance; 2) basic; 3) integrated; 4) sustainment.
The number of required serviceable ships and airframes is based on meeting the readiness entitlement during each FRP phase. Readiness models estimate the cost of each FRP phase using pricing factors that are specific to field and depot maintenance actions flying hours, ship operations, and ship and aviation depot repairs.
Combining the readiness output provided by each phase of the FRP with the cost of that phase creates the link between desired readiness output and budget levels. For example, Navy ships and aircraft are capital-intensive forces that, when properly maintained, last for decades and meet their associated expected service life.
The Navy recognises that scheduled maintenance of these ships and aircraft and the associated training and certification of their crews between deployments are key elements of the costs to own and operate the fleet. Readiness models can accurately reflect the cost to own, train, and operate Navy forces and fleets and to reach expected service life of its ships and aircraft.
1. Decreased crew levels.
Navy’s effort to reduce crew sizes corresponded with increases in maintenance costs that outweighed the savings achieved through reduced personnel costs. Shifts in maintenance workload from the organizational- and intermediate levels to depot-level maintenance increased overall maintenance costs. This change occurred in part because reduced crew sizes resulted in minor maintenance being deferred, which developed into more costly issues that had to be addressed later at the depot level.
2. Extended deployments.
Navy decisions to extend deployments can lead to maintenance challenges, since these decisions have resulted in declining ship conditions across the fleet, and have increased the amount of time that ships require to complete maintenance in the shipyards.
3. Deferred maintenance.
Maintenance deferred while a ship is deployed can develop into more costly issues that must be addressed later, often during depot-level maintenance. Deferred maintenance can lead to new work at the shipyards, as the degraded ship conditions result in the need for additional maintenance. Systems with the potential to reduce ship service life can be subject to maintenance deferrals in order to allow the ship to sustain a high operational tempo.
4. Difficulties in adhering to the maintenance planning process.
Navy must accurately define the work for each ship’s maintenance period. To do this, the Navy’s maintenance planning process specifies planning milestones intended to ascertain the ship’s condition, identify the work needed, and plan for its execution. Missing or meeting planning milestones late can contribute to maintenance delays.
5. Late discovery of additional workload
Navy does not always adhere to its own maintenance planning process due to high operational tempo, scheduling difficulties, or personnel shortages, among other factors. As a result, shipyards discover the need for additional repairs after maintenance has begun and adding time to the schedule for planning, contracting, or waiting for parts.
6. Navy shipyards have shortages of skilled personnel.
The Navy has reported a variety of workforce challenges at such as hiring personnel in a timely manner and providing personnel with the training necessary to gain proficiency in critical skills. Some occupations require years of training before workers become proficient. But neither depots, their higher-level service component commands, nor the services have conducted an assessment to determine the effectiveness of these actions.
7. Infrastructure condition affect timeliness
Poor condition of facilities and equipment at the shipyards contributed to maintenance delays for aircraft carriers and submarines. Navy shipyards do not track when facility problems leads to maintenance delays. Age of equipment at the shipyards is beyond its average expected service life posing an increased risk for maintenance delays or higher maintenance costs, affecting the depots’ ability to conduct work.
8. The Navy shipyards lack the capacity to conduct required maintenance in the future.
Navy shipyards cannot support many of the maintenance periods that aircraft carriers and submarines will require through 2040, due to a lack of dry dock capacity. Shipyards could have some additional capacity to conduct maintenance, but are hesitant to invest in creating this capacity without more certainty from the Navy. Optimal placement of facilities and major equipment can increase its maintenance efficiency by reducing the distance that workers and material will have to travel around the shipyards during the maintenance period.
9. Hiring additional workers at shipyards.
Shipyards have increased hiring, but it takes several years for workers to reach full productivity. In the past, new hires would take about 5 years to become fully productive, although Navy plans to reduce that time through new training techniques.
10. Performance to Plan.
The Navy has begun an analytical effort to better understand maintenance challenges and its capacity needs for the future, called “Performance to Plan.” Project is intended to help the Navy improve full and timely completion of maintenance, including for aviation, surface ships, and submarines. The effort for surface ship maintenance currently involves a pilot program looking at how to better plan and execute maintenance periods including examining how to improve the accuracy of forecasted maintenance requirements/duration and better adhere to planning milestones, among other