SSN-688 Los Angeles-class Life Cycle Maintenance
The Navy has a comprehensive life cycle maintenance plan for its SSN 688-Class submarines to ensure safe, reliable and mission capable operations. Life cycle maintenance on submarines occurs as a series of programmed maintenance availabilities. Periodic maintenance and modernization begins immediately after construction and continues throughout the life of every vessel.
Much of the maintenance is performed by the ship's crew and typically occurs in the ship's homeport. While in homeport, specially trained Navy maintenance personnel from an Intermediate Maintenance Facility may perform some work and assist the crew. These short availabilities ranging from a few days to about a month are referred to as Fleet Maintenance Availabilities.
The next level of programmed periodic maintenance is typically performed in the ship's homeport. These 60-90 day availabilities are referred to as Selected Restricted Availabilities (SRAs) and are accomplished by the ship's crew and Shipyard personnel. The Shipyard involved may be one of the four Naval Shipyards or one of the two private Shipyards, depending on who is assigned the work. SRAs typically involve drydocking the ship and may include numerous ship alteration installations. As a general rule, each submarine will undergo two SRAs between major overhauls (DMP or ERO/EO).
Significant maintenance and modernization is accomplished in a depot or shipyard (public or private), as opposed to the ship's homeport, and are referred to as Depot Modernization Periods (DMPs). These availabilities generally involve drydocking the ship and include technically demanding work. These availabilities take approximately 11-13 months to complete and they occur approximately 1/3 of the way through the life of the ship.
Ship Availability Planning and Engineering Center (SHAPEC) is a common sense approach to reducing the cost to the Navy for Ship maintenance. The cost of ship maintenance has many different flavors broken into two major categories, planned and unplanned work. Both of these categories can benefit from the SHAPEC Process. The SHAPEC philosophy is to provide one stop shopping for maintenance and modernization planning through the development of reusable planning products and standard planning policies. The goal is to have a single source [database] of planning products available for reuse for ship maintenance and modernization execution at any maintenance activity. The expected outcome is a reduction of planning cost to the Fleet via reusable planning products and common planning policies and a reduction of execution cost to the Fleet by ensuring process improvements and lessons learned are forwarded to maintenance activities through these centrally planned products. The SHAPEC process is being executed at both the SUPSHIP and Naval Shipyards for Surface Ship, Aircraft carriers and Submarines availabilities. Between 1999 and 2004 implementing the SHAPEC process, the Navy saw a significant reduction in the planning cost in SUPSHIPS, as well as for SSN 688 Submarine availabilities with the latest SHAPEC planned availabilities finishing under budget and early.
Reducing and standardizing Process Instructions had a large payoff in making SHAPEC produced Job Summaries and Task Group Instructions much more re-usable without modification by the executing activity. The Uniform Industrial Process Instruction (UIPI) approach of standardizing and eliminating unnecessary Process Instructions across Naval Shipyards would also benefit the Fleet's Intermediate Maintenance Activities, which will also be using SHAPEC and shipyard products.
"Team Ones" have been established for the Carrier, Submarine, and Amphibious Ship maintenance communities, respectively. Each community Team One defines, champions, and improves cross-organizational processes for the planning and execution of their platform maintenance availabilities. Team One provides a structure for the management and long-term systematic improvement of cost, schedule, and quality performance. Means and measures for improvement reflect the considerations of all affected parties including, but not limited to, Ship's Force, Type Commanders, Shipyards (public and private), NAVSEA, SPAWAR and NAVAIR. The focus of Team One is the integration of the efforts of contributing organizations into an effective total process.
The initial Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed April 17, 1998 between Electric Boat Corporation (EBC) and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS) under provisions of Title 10 USC Sec 2474 with the objective of improving affordability and effectiveness of life cycle support in the Northeast Region. This will be done by reengineering industrial processes and adopting best business and management practices. The MOA was modified in February 1999 without reference to Title 10 USC Sec 2474 and tailored after a similar MOA between Newport News and Norfolk Naval Shipyard. To go beyond borrowing EBC labor as needed, an additional meeting between EBC and PNS was held at Naval Underwater Warfare Center in Newport RI, on March 10, 1999. The meeting resulted in a proof-of-concept plan for execution of two concurrent Selected Restricted Availabilities (SRA) at SUBASE NL - USS ANNAPOLIS (SSN 760) assigned to PNS and USS MEMPHIS (SSN 691) awarded to EBC. Best practices would be used for division of labor for each SRA; i.e., best practice at the Ship Work List Items Number level. Net savings would be applied to backlog of Ships' Force and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (Consolidated Ships Maintenance Program - CSMP) workload on each boat. The objective was to provide additional work to the customer (COMSUBLANT), without an increase in price and to set the stage for more significant, long-term, joint ventures. These concurrent SRAs were executed September through December 1999. During SRA work execution, an additional $559,634 of CSMP work (backlog) was completed. Also, several improvement opportunities were identified from this complimentary effort that are currently being assessed for future efforts.
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