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High Capacity Alongside Sea Base Sustainment (HICASS)
Large Vessel Interface Lift On/Lift Off (HICASS LVI LO/LO)

The High Capacity Alongside Sea Base Sustainment Large Vessel Interface Lift On/Lift Off (HICASS LVI LO/LO) systems will be built to exceed the at-sea lift-on / lift-off transfer capability threshold requirements for MPF(F) to sustain the Sea Base. The objectives for this effort will be to enable the transfer of 20-foot ISO containers through sea state 4.

This procurement focuses on the Technology Development (TD) and provides a means for the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phases of a Navy acquisition program. At the present time funds have not been identified for the SDD phase of the program. The program will develop HiCASS LVI LO/LO TD phase prototypes and allow for the subsequent SDD phase if funds are available for demonstration systems suitable for proof-of-concept and full systems demonstration supporting installation and deployment on the U.S. Navy's next generation, Maritime Pre-positioning Force (Future) MPF(F) ships.

The TD phase prototype technologies and systems, through the application of advanced motion sensing, motion compensation, load control, and other necessary component technologies and open systems design, will also provide applicability to other future and existing naval logistics ships and potential scalability to support smaller vessel transfer capabilities. The SDD phase, if funded, will further develop the systems and allow for demonstration the technologies developed during the TD phase.

The overall mission and goal of the Seabasing Future Naval Capability (FNC) program is to identify those mature and evolving logistics technologies that, through focused investment, guidance and management, can be demonstrated to provide the required enabling capabilities. These capabilities will subsequently be made available to the warfighter through a systematic transition to the acquisition process. The products of the Seabasing FNC must be capabilities that are ready for transition to the acquisition community for further System Development and Demonstration using R&D funds. In particular, the Seabasing FNC intends to make a major impact on high capacity at-sea transfer, which is identified as High Capacity Alongside Sea Base Sustainment Large Vessel Interface Lift-on / Lift-off (HiCASS LVI LO/LO). HiCASS LVI LO/LO is intended to offer new approaches to cargo transfer in a seaway while underway through sea state 4.

The US Navy defines standard sea states by Significant Wave Heights, Sustained Wind Speeds, and Modal Wave Periods. The standard used by the US Navy is the NATO STANAG 4194, Standardized Wave and Wind Environments and Shipboard Reporting of Sea Conditions.

The two primary methods of Naval cargo replenishment at-sea are: Vertical Replenishment (VERTREP) and Connected Replenishment (CONREP). VERTREP entails using helicopters to transfer cargo between ships. It is limited to pallet- sized loads with total lift weights up to 4,000 lbs.

CONREP entails transferring palletized cargo between ships via a tensioned wire rope highline transfer system while the ships are underway at 10 to 15 knots, separated by approximately 150 feet. This current system is limited to lifts of 5,700 lbs thru sea state 5. Under special circumstances, a special jury-rigged system will allow the transfer of 10,000 lb loads in sea state 3 or less. In the near future, the US Navy hopes to field the Heavy Underway Replenishment (Heavy UNREP) System which is touted as being able to transfer "twice the load in half the time" of the standard CONREP system.

Another method for transferring cargo that the US Navy currently utilizes is skin-to-skin transfer. This is currently done in very low sea states at anchor using a crane ship. The ships tie up alongside each other and the crane ship transfers ISO containers from one ship to the other.

Future concepts of operations (CONOPS) within the Navy require a capability to conduct skin-to-skin replenishment of fully loaded 53,000 pound, 20-foot ISO containers, while underway, through sea state 4. The Navy requires the transfer capability from large ships to large ships. The target platform for these systems is the Maritime Prepositioning Force, Future (MPF(F)) ships. As for the other ships, which will be bringing the containers for transfer, they are assumed at this time to be typical US-Flagged commercial or government owned containerships.

HiCASS LVI LO/LO System Description

The HiCASS LVI LO/LO systems are to be affordable, highly-integrated, compact, and modular cargo transfer systems that enable the transfers necessary to enable MPF(F) to meet the Sea Base requirements for sustainment. The systems shall also be capable of supporting additional functionality through modularity, open interfaces, and the addition/deletion (scaling) of hardware and/or software without impacting fundamental system design. One example might be to use a HiCASS LVI LO/LO system for lift on / lift off of containers to perform in-theater swapping of mission modules in multi-mission ships like LCS.

Under any resulting orders for system development, the contractor will be required to deliver systems that are designed based on a modular open systems approach. The contractor will be required to make recommendations regarding key interfaces where "open " interface standards (those standards developed and controlled by a recognized industry standards organization) should be used in order to afford minimum life cycle cost, reduced complexity and time to update systems, and mitigate the risk of obsolescence. Since the total cost of ownership of the system is a predominant factor of program success, the contractor may also be required to provide recommendations, with supporting rationale, regarding the appropriate acquisition approach and systems design to achieve the lowest possible life cycle costs. The contractor may be required to make recommendations, with appropriate rationale, regarding the level of systems design beyond which industry should retain intellectual property rights and the resulting impact on affordability.

The goal of the initial phases of this effort is the design and development of the HiCASS LVI LO/LO prototype systems. The transfer functions to be demonstrated in initial phases include transfer of ISO containers between two large ships through sea state 4. The HiCASS LVI LO/LO systems are integrated proof of concept prototypes that can demonstrate key performance capabilities and perform technology risk mitigation. The proof of concept demonstration will be conducted in an at-sea environment representative of environmental conditions to be faced by shipboard installed systems. If possible, HiCASS LVI LO/LO will be integrated with other systems to be installed on the MPF(F). This effort will thus demonstrate the performance of the HiCASS LVI LO/LO system with the ship's internal material handling and asset management hardware and software.

Key HiCASS LVI LO/LO operational requirements, technical performance parameters and supportability requirements including reliability, maintainability, logistics support, system availability, etc. will be essential elements in the demonstration and evaluation.

The HiCASS LVI LO/LO effort will focus on the successful prototype and subsequent demonstration of at-sea transfer functionality for the MPF(F) based on the MPF(F) performance requirements and the related enabling technologies. Demonstrations of at-sea transfer functions beyond those identified to support the MPF(F) sustainment required capability are not anticipated under this solicitation.

The Contractor shall provide program management, engineering, and test & evaluation services, and deliver hardware, software, services and documents as specified under each order issued under this contract. Orders can be issued for requirements definition, trade studies, system and subsystem designs, development, fabrication, system integration, test, demonstration, production engineering, preparation of production documentation and qualification testing, and production and testing of limited quantities of system/subsystems.

Technology Development (TD) Phase

The goals for the TD phase of the HiCASS LVI LO/LO program are as follows:

  • Develop HiCASS LVI LO/LO systems that address the transfer of cargo between two large ships in the intended environment.
  • Develop large-scale demonstration hardware and necessary software to demonstrate the capability to meet the requirements for the HiCASS LVI LO/LO systems in the intended environment.
  • Conduct HiCASS LVI LO/LO testing and demonstration that satisfies Technology Development (TD) Phase requirements to enable a smooth transition to the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) Acquisition Phase with minimal changes in the system.

Tasks associated with the Technology Development (TD) Phase (CLIN 0001) are the primary focus of the N00014-05-R-0008 RFP. CLIN 0002 tasks options are provided as a vehicle for further R&D investment if funds are available and appropriate.

1) Develop concepts of operation (CONOPs) that utilize the solutions intended to meet capability requirements. The CONOPs should detail how the transfer operations are to be conducted and should be consistent with the Navy / Marine Corps Doctrine and Concepts of Operation related to Seabasing and logistics. The CONOPs will be coordinated with the MPF(F) Program Office and OPNAV N75/N42. Present HiCASS LVI LO/LO CONOPS to Navy and Marine Corps doctrine, CONOPS, requirements, resource, and acquisition program decision makers at a formal review. Incorporate feedback into a final HiCASS LVI LO/LO CONOPs document.

2) Perform conceptual designs and analyze alternatives. Each alternative should be evaluated for feasibility to deliver the required capability. The concepts that provide the most capability at an affordable cost should be evaluated in greater detail to arrive at the best value solution. Present designs and recommendations to Navy and Marine Corps leadership in a formal design review. Incorporate feedback into a final Conceptual Design and Alternative Analysis document.

3) Determine technologies that can enable the required capability through the selected conceptual design. Examine technologies available throughout the government laboratories and industry to determine which technologies provide the best solutions considering performance, maturity, risk, and cost. Prepare technology implementation recommendation document and provide to ONR for comment.

4) Develop system level requirements that reflect the recommended conceptual design and the required performance and capacity to deliver the necessary capability. Trace requirements to capability parameters.

5) Develop component requirements derived from the system level requirements. Trace these requirements back to the system level requirements to show that each requirement is necessary and that all system level requirements are allocated properly.

6) Develop technology requirements derived from the component requirements and the technology analysis. Trace these technology requirements back to the component and system level requirements to show that each requirement is necessary and that all system level requirements are addressed properly.

7) Develop technology, component, subsystem, and system test plans that systematically evaluate the technologies, then the components, then the assembled subsystems, and finally the system. The test plan must consider the required performance, capacity, and characteristics and the specific tests that are appropriate at the levels of maturity of the technologies, components, subsystems, and systems.

8) Develop technologies to meet the technology specifications. Develop the technologies to be consistent with integration into the components, subsystems, and system. Development should include assessments of technology maturity, technical and programmatic risk, and risk mitigation planning.

9) Test technologies to determine whether they meet the technology performance, capacity, and characteristics requirements. The tests should include testing at an appropriate scale in a suitable environment to provide a high degree of confidence that the technology will deliver the necessary capability in the operational environment. Document the test results and how any deficiencies will be resolved.

10) Perform functional design of components incorporating the developed and acquired technologies. Functional design shall consider and address, but not be limited to, performance, characteristics, cost, risk, and safety / operational issues. Eventual certification requirements like the Explosive Weapons Safety Board certification to handle ordnance must be considered.

11) Procure and/or manufacture the components necessary for the subsystems and systems. A make or buy decision should be made using a rigorous method, consistent with the contractor's procurement policy, to minimize the total cost to the government. Procurement and/or manufacture should be planned with sufficient lead time to meet the test schedule allowing for component testing, integration into subsystem, subsystem testing, and integration into the system. Integrate the technologies and subcomponents into the components.

12) Perform component tests to make certain that the component performance, behavior, and characteristics meet the component requirements and that the technologies have been properly integrated. Document the test results and address how any deficiencies will be resolved.

13) Integrate components, including hardware and software, into subsystems. Physically assemble the subsystems from the components and perform the integration of the subsystems.

14) Perform subsystem integration tests to make certain that the subsystems perform and behave as required and have the proper characteristics to fit together into the system. Document the test results and address how any deficiencies will be resolved.

15) Integrate components and subsystems into the complete system. Physically assemble the system from the subsystems and perform integration of the subsystems.

16) Perform large-scale system integration tests to make certain that the system performs and behaves as required and has the proper characteristics to be integrated into the demo ship. Document test results and address how any deficiencies will be resolved.

17) Perform large-scale system demonstration in a simulated environment. Perform installation tests and shakedown tests to verify that the system is ready for demonstration. Document test results and remedy deficiencies. Demonstrate the system as soon as possible once it has been deemed in compliance with all system requirements and safety regulations.

18) Perform other tasks related to the Technology Development of the HiCASS LVI LO/LO systems, as required and specified in task orders under this contract.

System Development and Demonstration (SDD)

The goals for the SDD phase of the HiCASS LVI LO/LO program are as follows:

  • Further develop HiCASS LVI LO/LO systems that have proven the ability to transfer cargo between two large ships and between a large ship and a mid-sized ship to increase reliability, maintainability, and general suitability for long-term installation on Navy ships.
  • Fabricate, modify, and upgrade the TD phase hardware and software to represent a true prototype of the HiCASS LVI LO/LO systems to be delivered to the fleet.
  • Provide necessary analytical, test, and demonstration data to the various certification and regulatory bodies to secure complete system certification for intended operations in the intended environment.

Tasks associated with the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) Phase (CLIN 0002): The tasks identified in CLIN 0002 are highly dependent on availability of resources and ability to accomplish R&D and impact MPF(F) procurement schedule. Currently no funds are identified for CLIN 0002. Notionally the following will be representative of tasks under CLIN 0002.

1) Perform detail design of system and components for production units. Incorporate lessons learned from previous testing and demonstration. Reduce system operation and maintenance costs through sound design and material selection while keeping acquisition cost within budget.

2) Develop interface standards for ship installation to tie into the structural, electrical, freshwater, fire main and any other systems necessary for the operation of the HiCASS LVI LO/LO system. Work closely with acquisition program and potential shipyards to minimize the impact and cost of integrating the HiCASS LVI LO/LO systems into the ship.

3) Secure required regulatory and operational readiness certification to install on a ship for demonstration in an operational environment. This will include American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), Military Sealift Command (MSC), Marine Corps, and Navy certifications necessary for the installation and operation of the HiCASS LVI LO/LO systems in the intended operational environment.

4) Provide on-site support to the installing shipyard in system installation to include technical coordination, resolution of discrepancies between integration plans and specifications and actual ship systems, and coordination of material delivery to fit ship modification schedule.

5) Provide on-site support to operators in system demonstration to include troubleshooting, training, maintenance, and advisory support to the ship's crew and to regulatory and fleet observers.

6) Resolve problems found during the preceding steps to result in HiCASS LVI LO/LO systems suitable for insertion into Navy acquisition and backfit programs.

7) Perform other tasks related to the System Development and Demonstration of HiCASS LVI LO/LO systems, as required and specified in task orders under this contract. (System, subsystem and component requirements will be specified in each task order as appropriate for the specific scope of work identified by the Government.)

iii) Under any resulting orders, the contractor shall participate as a member, together with government personnel, of the Program Management Integrated Product Team (PMIPT) and its subordinate boards. These boards will address technical, management and acquisition issues relating to the program. As an example, there is a need to ensure that all contractor-developed systems are fully interoperable. One of the PMIPT's sub-boards will be responsible for the determination of the appropriate interface standards. Another potential area for sub-board activity is the government's desire for commonality of modules across multiple contractors' relevant products. An issue of this magnitude and complexity will require the coordination of all contractor and government organizations.

iv) The contractor shall be required to enter into Interface Working Agreements (IWAs) with other contractors developing related systems. This will be required to insure that all contractors have an unobstructed means of communication to pass information required to assure the development, integration and interoperability of the system.




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