“ILS – What is it and what value is it to the submarine skipper?” These are questions I asked when I found that I was to be assigned as U.S Director for the SEA WOLF SSN-21 Project. The reply was that ILS was the area in which I had voiced the greatest concern when I was a Squadron Commander, and from which I benefitted the most when I was in submarine command.
I.L.S – Integrated Logistic Support – provides through every element of this developing science the foundation for submarine support. U.S quantifies in minute detail every facet of manning and material support for submarines, including areas not generally recognized as falling under the logistics umbrella.
One of the primary reasons for the United States Submarine Force’s continued demonstration of readiness and availability is the successful execution of ILS planning, although for a long time this support function wasn’t known by this name. We have always relied on ILS, but generally didn’t recognize it as such.
Submarine operations planners use three factors in formulating operating plans and determining numbers of submarines required to meet commitments:
(1) Force Availability — that percentage of submarines available for deployment. This number is reduced by overhauls, restricted availabilities, or reduced status imposed by any of several deficiencies (e.g., training, manning, equipment failures);
(2) Mission Sustainability — a measure of the submarine’s ability to remain on station, and is enhanced by equipment redundancy, repair capability, repair parts on board, provisioning, and crew endurance;
(3) Submarine operating and maintenance (Life Cycle) costs — always a major consideration for any weapons system program.
Thus, a submarine’s readiness requires redundancy and maintainability designed into the submarine, adequate manning and continuous training, and a well planned maintenance support organization and system. It is also highly dependent upon having the right logistics support available at the right place at the right time. As submarine operators we all know this, but most of us never fully appreciate the depth of the ILS science and its direct value to our submarines. For example, a lack of adequate repair parts and support equipments, trained operating and maintenance personnel, accurate technical documentation, or proper provisioning would greatly hinder submarine operations. U.S is thus a necessary function of submarine force planning as well as an integral part of new submarine development.
I.L.S covers all aspects of submarine support planning. The classic elements of U.S speak for themselves: Maintenance Planning; Manpower, Personnel, and Training (MPl); Support and Test Equipment; Logistics Technical Data (LID); Computer Resources; Supply Support; Packaging, Handling, Storage, and Transportation (PHS&1); Facilities Planning and Support; Configuration Management; Standardization; and Reliability, Maintainability, and Availability (RM&A).
The goals of I.LS are to:
(1) identify and develop support requirements that relate to and support system readiness objectives,
(2) design logistics support functions into the system, and
(3) provide the required support for minimum cost.
Integrated Logistic Support has been a factor from the beginning of the SEA WOLF design and acquisition process. One can gain an appreciation for the relation of I.L.S to current submarine operations through a discussion of support designed into this ship class.
The SSN-21 Project is under the direction of the SEA WOLF Program Manager, who reports to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, and Acquisition. This project, the premier submarine acquisition program in the Navy, has clear goals: Take advantage of developing technology to design and build a submarine for the llst Century which will assure for decades to come our submarine advantage, yet be affordable in the near term and cost effective over the life or the ship. In an October 1989 American Society of Naval Engineers Submarine Symposium in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Mr. Frank C. Ambrose, current U.S director for the SEA WOLF Program, stated that “Prudent investments in submarine design and logistic support planning will lead to Jess depot-level maintenance and reduced operating and support costs, while improving the availability to the fleet of safe and reliable submarines.” This concept bas been always been at the forefront throughout SEA WOLF development .
How will this concept be carried out in the SEA WOLF ILS planning process? One can answer this question by analyzing each of the above ILS elements as factored into SEA WOLF planning.
The first element is Maintenance Planning. This element, central to ILS planning and indeed to the overall design of the ship, is the crux of meeting SEA WOLFs operating goals: Control (read decrease) life cycle costs, enhance ship’s reliability and safety, sustain material readiness, maximize availability (both in the short term as well as for the life of the ship), and facilitate the crew’s ability to operate and maintain the ship. Maintenance planning as incorporated in the SEA WOLF design meets the goals of Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) concepts, and reflects the innovative character of SEA WOLF Program Manager’s total ship planning:
(1) Operating cycle coinciding with refueling which is expected to occur at about the 15-year point (i.e., no interim overhauls);
(2) one restricted ·availability (SRA) of about 60-days duration occurring mid-cycle, primarily for combat system upgrade;
(3) system and equipment performance and vibration monitoring by ship’s crew and site teams using both onboard and squadron based monitoring systems;
( 4) a rotatable pool of components with use based upon SMMSO (Submarine Monitoring, Maintenance, and Support Office) analysis;
(5) accessibility enhanced by engineered access, controlled rigging paths, and a logistics escape trunk through which most major equipments can be removed without hull cuts;
(6) reliability designed into systems so that planned maintenance (PM) can be scheduled as much as possible into in-port availabilities to lessen at-sea PM requirements on the crew; and
(7) material condition feedback to assist crew, repair facility, squadron, and type commander planners.
Thus, limited crew size and optimum ship availability remain forefront in SEA WOLFs total maintenance planning. As a result, it is estimated that overhaul and SRA costs will decrease by a factor of six from current extended operating cycle (EOC) costs, and by a factor greater than twelve from pre-EOC submarines.
MPT, the next ILS element, takes in all aspects of submarine and support repair facility manning, onboard and shore based training, training device development, and pipeline training for all skills, including operating and maintenance training for submarine and repair facility personnel. A complicating factor in new submarine design is that systems become more complex, yet there is a need to limit the size of the operating crew. Thus, correlation of manning in the various rates with systems design is an iterative process.
Support and Test Equipment planning is vital to ship’s operations and maintenance. This element includes not only the selection of each piece of support and test equipment, but its availability, supply support, maintainability, ruggedness, and diversity of use. Only so much equipment can be carried on board, and it has to be operational throughout a submerged deployment.
The Logistics Technical Data (LID} ILS element covers all aspects of technical manuals and technical drawings. Proper documentation is essential to all other ILS elements, and to the operation and maintenance of the ship. In SEA WOLF, this element leads directly to the Computer Resources element.
Computer Resources planning is integral to SEA WOLF operations. Besides the myriad of onboard computers for operations and war-fighting, including the combat and navigational systems, SEA WOLF will employ the latest in computer technology for administrative support and training. The plethora of technical manuals, supply documentation, drawings, and training booklets has overloaded the storage capability of most submarines. SEA WOLF crews will be able to call up COSAL and repair parts storage data on their terminals, use data banks of technical information and drawings for maintaining ship’s systems, and conduct interactive qualification and training. The paperless ship concept has been the subject of much publicity — if any ship presently in the planning state can approach this concept, SEA WOLF comes closest. Further in …..
the future, decision support systems will assist crews in operational decision making – a taslc becoming increasingly difficult because of the sheer amount of rapidly changing tactical data available to the Commanding Officer and his Fire Control Party. The elements of Supply Support and PHS&T are interrelated. Supply support for SEA WOLF incorporates the concept of Timely Spares Provisioning. This means that Navy supply support for all ship’s systems will be in effect at the time of delivery. Interim support directly from manufacturers and later transition to Navy supply support will be a thing of the past. New ADP programs are available for supply support planning, and are in use now. Parts have to be packaged, transported, and stored safely – free from corrosion, breakage, and in many cases electrostatic discharge. Systems have to be in place to have parts available to submarines in their home ports as well as during port visits. Proper Facilities planning is paramount to SEA WOLF operability. The ship has to be able to transit to, moor, and be supported in our established submarine homeports. This requires considerations such as dredging, pier status, hull protection from tug boats and adjacent ships, resident and available drydocks without the need to depend on shipyard support, deperming facility availability, SMMSO team and warehouse space, and explosive arcs to accommodate the increased SEA WOLF weapons load support needs. These considerations resulted in the undertaking of a homeporting study, to formulate SSN homeporting plans into the next century. Configuration Management (CM) drives system and equipment U.S planning. The ultimate goal of CM is to result in each ship of the class being an exact copy of .the first. Since this is rarely attainable, configuration management functions to maintain detailed records over the life of the ship of differences from original design, and differences that develop between ships of the class. Thus when maintenance or overhaul is required, planning, parts, and procedures will match the systems as installed in that particular ship. Standardization is a key to effective Configuration Management and Supply Support. The benefits of using standard or lilce components throughout the ship are obvious. The result are simpler supply and storage requirements for standard components, and easier configuration management RM&A reviews all aspects of reliability, maintainability, and availability of the ship and each of its systems. The goal of RM&A is “Reliability by design, not by chance.” Calculations of RM&A sum up the results of total ship and ILS planning, and must achieve a designated readiness, called Operational Availability, Ar,. Although calculation of Au requires an extensive computer program, operational availability is best described as a function of the relationships among hardware, personnel, and procedures:
Ao = (Up Time) / (Up Time+ Down Time)
An Ao of 0.98 would mean that the system is calculated to be available 98% of the time. The program is run with different mission profiles; for example, an Arctic Ocean or an Indian Ocean deployment. While a satisfactory Au is necessary for DoD approval to continue program development, RM&A analyses assist ship’s planners in analyzing all facets of operations and maintenance toward a target of meeting all system’s goals.
By way of concluding this description of Integrated Logistic Support, the value of proper planning and execution of U.S should be apparent to the operators of today’s submarines. We have well trained people coming to our ships; complete and detailed maintenance planning has resulted in successful implementation of the extended operating cycle; very few missions have had to be aborted for material or training reasons; SSBN patrols continue an unparalleled record of success; the list goes on and on. The result of proper Il.S planning for today’s operators is simply the means for making their difficult and challenging job far easier and their goals attainable.