Arsenal Ship Lessons Learned Report

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3.1 Systems Engineering

3.1.1 Background

The Arsenal Ship Program Office, recognizing the complexity of the ship being developed as well as the challenging schedule established to complete the design and construction, expected the Industry Teams to rely heavily on a systems engineering approach. A key aspect of this program was the decision by the Government to turn the systems development process over to industry from the earliest stages of the process. This decision challenged industry to develop and design the optimum mix of performance capabilities within the production and life cycle cost affordability constraints.

Related to the application of the systems engineering approach were the use of an Integrated Product Development Environment (IPDE) and Integrated Product Teams (IPT).

Critical drivers of the process were the use of Price As Established (PAE) and the extremely low manning goal established for the ship. The low cost goal established for the Demonstrator ship, compelled the Teams to focus on major system engineering objectives and tradeoffs.

3.1.2 Lessons Learned A systems engineering approach is essential. A disciplined systems engineering process based on defined goals, thresholds and trade space is essential. It creates the environment for true innovation, and enables industry to solve the complex design problems associated with the MFSD. Providing industry with unprecedented freedom to develop their own solution to a ship design without the application of Systems Engineering would not likely yield a successful outcome. Systems engineering in and of itself was no guarantee that the "best" solution was derived, but its discipline helped the program management understand better whether the approach was complete, and whether the right priorities were assigned and the right questions asked. Adequate time is needed for Industry Team formation and growth. Much energy was spent by industry in the first two months of Phase I sorting out Team membership and Team relationships. At the start of Phase II, the average Team size increased from about 50 to over 200 people in a short time frame, which caused different design maturation rates among the Teams. The phases of the program were structured to allow seamless transition from one phase to the next. Industry did not take full advantage of the downselect decision period to position themselves for the next phase. Had they done so, the Phase transition would have been much smoother. Without this, an additional 2 months for Phase II would have permitted all three consortia to fully mature their functional design. An Integrated Product Development Environment (IPDE) and Integrated Process Teams (IPT's) were beneficial to design success. IPDE and IPT's contributed in very powerful ways to expedite the process and to ensure that the process did not neglect any critical aspects of the design. In one Teams case, the IPDE allowed geographically dispersed members of the Team and the Government to work with the most current information available at all times. This was essential to permitting the level of concurrency necessary to meet their constrained schedule. The IPDE also facilitated the ability to move quickly from stage to stage in the design evolution. The Team that excelled in using IPDE tended to make faster progress because information transfer among Team members occurred at a more rapid rate. Similarly the IPT's ensured that interdisciplinary teams were focused on the most critical parts of the overall design problems and that complete solutions were considered. To ensure that the IPT's themselves did not become "stove-piped", collocation, cross membership of key individuals and the IPDE were utilized. Freedom to make trades enabled achievement of cost and schedule goals. Giving Teams nearly infinite flexibility to make trades enabled them to achieve low cost goals and schedule constraints. The Teams reinvented the sequence of steps in the ship design and construction process to meet the cost and schedule goals of the program. Certain subsystems were eliminated because their lead times would not meet the schedule. A design competition performed by industry may be an acceptable substitute for a Government run COEA/AOA. A PAE-based program trades cost, performance, and schedule. The competitive Industry Teams had the freedom to seek the "best value" solution. Competing Industry designs effectively encompassed the range of real solutions to the CONOPS. Not only were they varied in size and capability, but the solutions were also realistic, in that they were actually procurable. This contrasts with typical Government conducted COEA studies that identify hypothetical solutions that are not validated, particularly with respect to cost or producibility. Industry Team control of the full trade-space is essential to achieving total ship integration within the PAE goals. Previously unthinkable trades crossing many boundaries, such as trading propulsion capability for lines of code in the communications suite were discussed. In Arsenal Ship, the PAE process forced significant innovation: three new launchers; improved software processes; COTS insertion and refresh, and software reuse are some examples. Through industry IPTs, a total ship engineering approach was applied for a balanced hull and topside design, trading off signatures, communications systems, navigation systems, weapons and cost. Industry Teams are fully capable of producing new combatant ship designs. The design products delivered over the course of the program were excellent, and comparable in overall quality to previous in-house Navy designs. Industry was extremely effective in assembling a mix of private and public sources, marine and aerospace, to cover the full range of technical disciplines. Design commercialization requires new systems architecture not only for information systems, but also for mechanical systems, to permit use of COTS systems and equipment. One of the best examples of this innovative thinking involved methods of shock mitigation for selected equipment. It was obvious that militarizing all equipment would have eliminated the opportunity to use commercial-off-the-shelf items. By focusing on shock isolation schemes a more cost effective approach was achieved. Early application of budgets for cost and performance was essential. Budget and performance allocations to established goals and thresholds are facilitated by the discipline inherent in the system engineering process. The teams who were most successful at setting cost and performance budgets and sticking to them became the most competitive.

3.2 Survivability

3.2.1 Background

The survivability of the Arsenal Ship was broken into three categories: susceptibility, vulnerability, and recoverability. Susceptibility was defined as the probability of the ship being detected, targeted, engaged and hit by a threat weapon. Vulnerability was defined as the probability of the ship being damaged to the point of losing mission capability, propulsion, or being sunk. Recoverability was defined as the capability of performing fire fighting, damage control, and recovering mission capabilities after incurring damage from a threat attack. Recovering mission capability (= "fighting hurt") was not a program goal. These definitions were given to all Industry Teams early in Phase I as a guide to how the ASJPO was to analyze and evaluate Industry designs.

Since the Industry Team was responsible for the ship design, the ASJPO did not define a specific set of threats through a System Threat Assessment Report (STAR). Instead, the ASJPO provided references and sources for threat information within the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), and NAVSEA. Each Industry Team was then allowed to request threat information directly from these sources. In many cases, the ASJPO helped facilitate the transmission of threat information to the Teams. None of the Teams asked for an identical set of information, however, the threat assessments provided similar results. The top level design goals for each Team, derived from these threat assessments, were not drastically different; however the approaches taken in the ship designs to achieve these goals were drastically different and showed unique and innovative solutions.

In addition, the Teams were provided with points of contact for Government ship survivability expertise. The Industry Teams were provided an opportunity to contract directly with Government R&D Centers to hire Government experts and to take advantage of Government computer models and simulation tools. In the survivability area, most of this activity occurred between industry and NSWC Carderock for weapon effects analysis and design. In Phase I the Teams were only allowed to contract for "objective services". The NSWC engineers were allowed to provide lessons learned from previous work and provide computer analysis of industry designs. In Phase II, all three Industry Teams contracted with NSWC Carderock for exclusive IPT support for vulnerability reduction analysis and design. Personnel supporting the Industry Teams in Phase II were "fire-walled" from each other to prevent inadvertent release of competition sensitive information. A separate set of engineers at NSWC Carderock provided direct support to the ASJPO. The management of personnel resources to allow NSWC Carderock to provide support to both industry and the ASJPO required up front planning and policy making.

The ASJPO Survivability Team included members from ONR, NAVSEA, NSWC Carderock Division, and System Planning Corporation (SETA support to DARPA/TTO). By the end of Phase I, and for Phase II Source Selection, the team consisted of seven people: The ASJPO Survivability Manager, one magnetic signature engineer, one electromagnetic (RCS/IR) signature engineer, two ship acoustic signature engineers, and two vulnerability engineers. After Phase II Source Selection was complete, the team was increased to eleven with the addition of one electromagnetic signature engineer, two damage control/fire fighting engineers, and one composites/materials engineer. The team of eleven was maintained throughout Phase II and all would have participated in the Phase III Source Selection effort. With this diverse group, the ASJPO was able to review all aspects of industry's survivability designs, provide pertinent information on Navy ship survivability activity, and leverage off ship survivability research and development efforts throughout DoD. Because most of the team members simultaneously worked on other ship programs, lessons learned from other programs were easily transferred into the Arsenal Ship program.

One dilemma a program office faces when industry is given total responsibility is that analysis tools used can differ from one competitor to the next. Often there is no standard by which to calibrate these tools for comparison sake. In order to discount this problem, the ASJPO tasked several Government organizations to perform independent analysis of the three industry designs. The Naval Research Laboratory was tasked to perform RCS/IR signature predictions and run CRUISE MISSILE engagement simulations against expected threats. NSWC Dahlgren Division Coastal System Station, Panama City, FL was tasked to perform mine susceptibility studies using the Total Mine Simulation System (TMSS) and Naval Mine Warfare Simulation (NMWS) tools. NSWC Carderock Division was tasked to perform ship vulnerability analysis against projected warhead threats using the Ship Vulnerability Model (SVM). By using the same models to analyze all three ships, the ASJPO was able to obtain a fair comparison of ship performance that would have been used as part of the downselection process.

3.2.2 Process Lessons Learned An integrated Survivability team and approach allows for an optimized design that provides improved ship survivability. By working all ship survivability aspects together, trade-offs and optimization can be achieved to provide a more survivable, cost effective design. By working the different survivability areas separately, complementary and optimized designs will most likely not be achieved, compromising ship survivability and affordability. Ship vulnerability/weapons effects hardening expertise, technology development and analysis capability resides largely in the Navy R&D Centers. System design and integration capabilities are the Industry Team's area of expertise. Early involvement in the Functional Design Phase of the Navy R&D Centers working with the Industry Teams is vital. During Phase I, the ASJPO detected a weakness in the structural survivability area on all five Industry Teams. Industry has never had motivation to develop ship vulnerability/weapons effects design expertise as an in-house capability. Early in Phase II, the ASJPO, in conjunction with NSWC Carderock, conducted a survivability course for the three Phase II Teams. This course allowed the Government to share Navy ship survivability methodologies, technologies, and lessons learned. All three Teams used the information, as well as NSWC Carderock on their IPT's, to improve their ship designs. In the case of signature control and damage control, technology exists to achieve the signature and automation levels desired. However, cost-effective designs and large-scale demonstrations are needed to prove the concepts. Without large-scale demonstrations, technologies will go from the R&D Center straight to a ship without sufficient development, causing high risk and costly implementations. The Arsenal Ship Demonstrator, or Maritime Fire Support Demonstrator, would have provided the Government and Industry an opportunity to show at a large-scale that affordable signature control and automated damage control/fire fighting are technically feasible. The demonstrator ship would have allowed for advanced concepts to be implemented and tested, ultimately providing low risk, cost effective solutions to future ship programs. Without these engineering and demonstration efforts, future ship programs will continue to implement stove-piped, costly, and inferior systems. In order to transition Government developed technologies to an industry lead design effort, a program office must identify pertinent technologies and communicate their availability to the Industry Teams. The three Industry Teams were very receptive to Government R&D efforts and used a variety of recently developed Navy technologies in their designs. Throughout Phases I & II, the ASJPO Survivability Team briefed the Industry Teams on a variety of technology programs and developments including the Integrated Magazine Protection System and surface ship acoustical tiles. The Teams used the information provided by ASJPO to enhance their designs. The Industry design teams favored components and/or subsystems that were already developed or whose development was being funded by the Government. If a technology or system development was being funded by the Government, the Industry Teams would, in most cases, include those in their design instead of incurring the expense of internal development. This is important in answering the question of how to integrate Government developed systems into designs totally controlled by industry. The answer is, "It happens naturally because the Industry Teams do not want to add unnecessary cost to their system, especially during a competition." It is important for key industry participants to have appropriate security clearances and access to information early in the mission analysis/concept design process. During Phase I and the early stages of Phase II, many industry personnel, especially in the shipyards, did not have Top Secret clearances. Much of the data and analysis regarding ship susceptibility is held at that security level. Because of the mismatch, many key personnel were not privy to some of the trade studies and design goals. This caused requirements flow-down without being able to communicate requirements justification. In some cases, requirements were derived without being able to execute the appropriate trade studies and analysis.

3.2.3 Product Lessons Learned Defining a realistic program goal at a top level (e.g., passive survivability through use of signature control) and giving industry the freedom and resources to choose the approach and achieve the goal, will provide products that meet or exceed performance goals and cost goals. Given a top level goal, freedom to use industry developed technologies and processes, and reasonable program resources (time and money), industry can conceive, design, and produce product solutions faster, cheaper, and better than internal Government led design teams. It is imperative that the Government, in executing a source selection, be able to compare the ship designs and performance characteristics using a common set of analysis tools. With multiple Industry Teams doing ship design, a variety of design, modeling, and simulation tools are used. Some of these tools have been validated against test data, some have not. In order to provide a common analysis environment, the ASJPO tasked NRL, NSWC/DD CSS, NSWC/CD, and NAWC-WD Pt Mugu to do analysis of the three ship designs independent of the Industry Teams. This enabled the ASJPO Source Selection Group to do comparisons of the three ships with common analysis tools. The fidelity of inputs available for independent Government evaluation varied between designs. Because of the varied design approaches and maturity levels, the information available to the ASJPO for on-going evaluation and source selection were not equal from all the Teams. The ASJPO had to develop analysis approaches which normalized the fidelity of the designs for its analysis effort.

3.3 Combat System/Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (CS/C4I)

3.3.1 Background

ASJPO CS/C4I objectives during these two phases were: to understand each Industry Team's Combat System and Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence concept; evaluate it; rank each concept relative to the Arsenal Ship CONOPS; and assess its performance relative to Arsenal Ship Missions and consistency with the DoD C4I Vision. An additional ASJPO objective was to facilitate interaction and coordination among Government organizations and between the Teams and Government organizations to maximize each Team's potential for developing a successful CS/C4I functional design.

Responsibility for requirements derivation and system engineering structure and development of a Functional Design resided with the Industry Teams. ASJPO provided a top level CONOPS and Ship Characteristics Document (SCD) as the basis for Industry to derive CS/C4I performance requirements. As such, ASJPO adopted an oversight philosophy based on an interactive and supportive approach on a minimally invasive basis during reviews, technical interchange meetings, and internal meetings with each Industry Team.

3.3.2 Organization

Figure 3-1 presents the ASJPO CS/C4I Assessment Team (CCAT) structure which consisted of a Core Team supported by advisors in CS/C4I functional areas. The Core Team itself is part of ASJPO and served not only to integrate analysis and assessments of CS/C4I functions, depicted at the bottom of the pyramid, but also to integrate those products with other functional areas (HM&E, T&E, Risk, Cost, etc.) to support an overall assessment of each Industry Team's Arsenal Ship design.

Figure 3-1. CCAT Structure

The CCAT Core Team attended all program reviews and encouraged consideration of out-of-the-box opportunities for technology insertion and business practice reform. Additionally, the Core Team provided the interface with other functional design areas (e.g., HM&E) within the ASJPO.

Table 3-1. CCAT
SSC-SD (formerly NRaD)
WEPTAC (China Lake)

The organizations provided about 10 technical advisors to the ASJPO CCAT are shown in Table 3-1. They received documents and attended two meetings with each Industry Team related to CS/C4I to gain understanding of the requirements, concepts, and functional trade-offs studies that led to CS/C4I design baselines.

ASJPO encouraged direct Industry liaison with Government program offices developing or responsible for systems that the Teams wished to integrate or consider as part of their design. However, ASJPO was a facilitator for interaction when required.

3.3.3 ASJPO/Government Interactions

Because all the Industry Team concept proposals resulting from Phase I had impact on off-board systems that would require both resource and schedule coordination within the Government, an Arsenal Ship Off-board Systems (ASOS) working group (Table 3-2) was established.

Table 3-2. Arsenal Ship Off-board Systems Working Group
Program/ActivityResource Provider
Arsenal Ship

The ASOS provided a forum for exchanging information between Government organizations on both technical and programmatic issues. For example, system baseline descriptions including funding and schedule profiles were presented. The ASOS also provided a mechanism for negotiating policies for interaction between a represented activity/program, ASJPO, and Arsenal Ship Teams.

Communications between CCAT members working at R&D Centers, etc. were open. However, communications of industry related business-sensitive information was strictly controlled. Additionally, advisors supporting the Core Team were limited to interaction on a strictly technical basis and as a rule attended only ASJPO-scheduled Industry meetings. Additionally, ASJPO limited access to Industry Team IPDEs to the Core Team.

3.3.4 Government C4I Assessment Activities.

The work effort to support CS/C4I was structured into two general work task assignments: Warfighting Assessments; and Technical Assessments.

  • The warfighting assessments consisted of a CONOPS review in the context of scenarios in both simulated and seminar style wargames. Feedback from cross service operators was obtained on viability and impact to current and evolving doctrine/tactics. Industry Teams were encouraged to participate in the process to improve their designs by integrating operator input into their design process.

  • The technical assessments were focused on traceability of industry-derived (based on the Government's CONOPS and SCD) requirements to the CS/C4I concept and functional design and a "best-value" analysis of the designs. The CS/C4I architectures were broken down into four main elements: mission; communications; support infrastructure; and software. Each element was assessed for feasibility, dependence on other programs, and impact on off-board systems or effect on infrastructure (as in the case with various COMM architectures). Additionally, an assessment based on broad-based DoD Joint Operations goals, such as Joint Vision 2010, Concept for Future Joint Operations, and Netted Targeting was conducted.
For each Industry Team, a system block diagram and functional requirements trace was captured and updated periodically as the Teams' designs matured. Additionally, associated technical and development schedule data was captured (when available) and maintained to keep the CCAT informed of progress toward Phase II deliverables. 3.3.5 General Lessons Learned Core Team interactions with Industry stretched their decision space. By questioning old approaches, suggesting new ways enabled by technology, and challenging the Industry Teams to find innovative and creative solutions, ASJPO increased the range of design options considered. The notion of availability of Government legacy system information, expertise, and software to competitive Teams was not universally accepted. Some program offices, Government R&D Centers and UARCs delayed or refused access to information and software. Specifically, issues of control, future development agent, and configuration management were surfaced. This is a serious issue for Industry led acquisition programs that will need resolution in the future.

3.3.6 CONOPS Assessment

In keeping with the goals and objectives of Joint Vision 2010, Warfighters across DoD were integrated into the assessment process through a series of seminar and simulated wargames. The wargaming activity brought together ASJPO, Industry Teams, and Joint Service representations into a structured and "competition secure setting" to understand and evolve industry's concepts based on user assessments and feedback. It addition, it provided a mechanism for ASJPO to identify those factors the warfighters considered important to rank the industry designs. The active duty participants were generally at the O4 - O5 level and their insights and vision were beneficial to each of the Teams as well as to ASJPO. CONOPS Assessment Process Description

The Weapons and Tactics (WEPTAC) Facility at China Lake, California was selected as the site for the wargames. Its remote location allowed the participants to focus with minimal interruptions.

Three basic tactical scenarios were developed to exercise the Arsenal Ship designs and programmed into the resident computer-assisted gaming facility. Each participant was assigned an operational command role and located in a closed game room where appropriate displays, information and communications channels were available to conduct operations. For the first games, each Industry Team had a day to explain their Concept of Operations, advise the participants on how to fight their Arsenal Ship concept, observe the games, and collect feedback from the participants. At the end of each day, and at the end of the week, Government-only sessions were held to discuss the results and collect feedback from the participants. Each scenario was played in a separate week over the summer.

A final Government-only week consisting of open seminar discussions of specific issues and comparisons of the Teams' approaches was held. CONOPS Lessons Learned Involving Joint warfighters in exercising the Operational Concepts of the Teams was very positive for the Teams and for ASJPO. Exercising each Industry approach in a wargame environment provided immediate feedback to the Team as to military utility, impact on current and future doctrine and employment methods, and helped them to refine their concepts. Interaction among the operators from three services was important to get a Joint perspective. ASJPO got comparative feedback from the warfighters on the approaches. Another benefit occurred when operators returned to their duty stations able to address both the pros and cons of the Arsenal Ship concept. The Government only seminar game at the end of the process provided the most feedback to ASJPO. Candid discussions and comparisons of approaches by the warfighters could be made only when no Industry Team members were present. Early games were valuable to provide feedback to the Teams and to train the participants on the approaches. There is a need for improved capability to assess and contrast future warfighting concepts. The CONOPS assessment process highlighted the need for future improvements, such as: real-time gaming, higher fidelity simulations and live system participation. The Joint and Maritime Battle Centers should be included in the future. All the Teams demonstrated the ability to invent new ways of conducting warfare that are operationally meaningful. The Industry Teams conducted effective mission area analysis to support CONOPS development and requirements generation. New command structures and organizational relationships were considered, including Joint Vision 2010 and warfighting experiments. The Arsenal Ship vertical gun for advanced ships (VGAS) element was heavily used to support ground fires. Flexibility of operational employment was valued by the warfighter. Designs that enabled the operation commander to use Arsenal Ship in creative ways were valued by the warfighters. In particular, they wanted to maximize the design flexibility of the existing (or planned) C4I architecture to be able to reconfigure the connectivity as needed. A primary utility of Arsenal Ship proved to be early massed precision firepower for both invasion stopping and anti-SEAD prior to arrival of traditional forces. The Sensor-to-Shooter concept was accepted and excursions with JSTARS were particularly effective. Direct targeting, especially from JSTARS, was found to be effective in calling in Precision Guided Munitions (PGM) and calls for fire. Joint real-time battle management, including en-route and target area airspace deconfliction, was identified as a critical need as rapid response weapons become deployed in the same volume as air and ground forces. New types of precision weapons, seekers, and warheads were desired by operators. With 500 Arsenal Ship VLS cells available on short notice the warfighters wanted more types, and lower cost ordnance for the cells. Warfighters prefer the opportunity to apportion assets to any echelon or force level necessary to conduct the mission. Arsenal Ships could be considered floating magazines with missiles belonging directly to the force to which they are apportioned. A common weapon control and communications network is required to respond to fire calls at any echelon apportioned weapon control authority. This approach is desired for any missile ship supporting land attack missions. The Joint forces need to review the responsibilities for weapon control and launch authorization under "network centric" warfare concepts. Remote trigger raised concern about the responsibility for launch authorization. Traditionally, responsibility resides with the ship's commanding officer; however, when weapons are allocated to off-board control nodes the responsibility for safe use of the weapons must be allocated off-board. The warfighters preferred a ship that can operate with minimum dependence on other ships in order to minimize disruption to their missions. Collaborative self defense was accepted but routine dependence on off-board assets was viewed as invasive. However, the availability of Arsenal Ship with large numbers of Land Attack missiles afforded the opportunity to load the AEGIS ships with more cruise missile defense missiles. Warfighters were interested in the ability to rapidly fire missiles in order to minimize time exposed to enemy fire. While exploring different employment concepts for the Arsenal Ship, the warfighters concluded that they wanted to minimize the time to launch for the entire mission since the ship was hard to hide while firing (flaming datum). Warfighters and engineers are concerned with security as the Navy moves to "Network Centric" operations. With the delegation of weapons release authority to off-board systems, protection requirements against information warfare and inadvertent launch become more stringent. Initial skepticism about the efficacy of the Arsenal Ship concept changed as the games progressed. In particular, as details of the passive self defense capabilities were included in the conduct of the games, more tactical employment options were tried with success.

3.3.7 Mission Areas (TAD, STRIKE, MFS) and Combat Systems Process Description

The mission element assessed how each Team approached and met the requirements derived in each mission area (TAD/Strike/MFS). This assessment included feasibility, dependence on other programs, and impact on off-board systems. NSWC/DD was tasked to provide an assessment of Industry designs in TAD and Strike missions. Both JHU/APL and NSWC/DD provided an assessment of the Teams' MFS functional designs.

NSWC/DD, JHU/APL, and SPC were tasked to develop and maintain a functional requirements trace, system block diagram and message flow diagram for each Industry Team's design. Design impact to Off-Board systems were studied to understand and develop a basis for assessing the cost and feasibility for launch of SM-2, Tomahawk and ATACMS. Mission Area Lessons Learned The ASOS was an effective group for sharing programmatic information among Government offices involved with the Arsenal Ship project. In general, the working members of ASOS had senior technical responsibility for their respective projects and were interested in finding workable solutions to issues of integration with Arsenal Ship. The discussions and information exchanged had benefit beyond the Arsenal Ship since it fostered a collaborative working relationship for issue resolution, including for example, between individual Program Offices which had no other communication mechanism. The ASOS dialogue suggested ideas shared development costs and identified opportunities for implementing new capability in the fleet. The Arsenal Ship Industry Teams were prepared to upgrade Tomahawk Weapon Control System Software to automate functions. This software could be applied in other surface combatants as well, which could effectively reduce manning on those ships. As another example, the Arsenal Ship program and Special Projects Office planned on combining efforts to accelerate introduction of ATACMS capability into the Navy. SPO planned to integrate the missile into VLS and Arsenal Ship planned to develop the weapon /launch control systems. The Teams selected system designs based on cost and performance rather than on internal Government program pressures. The Teams universally endorsed the Army's AFATDS system on Arsenal Ship rather than pursuing the in-house Navy LAWS system. Some PARMs were reluctant to work with three Industry Teams. Several of the PARMs deferred serious consideration of Industry Team designs and implications for their system development until Arsenal Ship downselected to one developer. ASJPO sponsored feasibility studies at the R&D Centers assisted in identifying the off-board system impacts resulting from Arsenal Ship system concepts. This information assisted in evaluation of Industry Team remote trigger concepts and ensured consequences to off-board systems were described and accounted for by the Teams. Industry can determine the most effective use of legacy systems within their design concepts. Integration of legacy systems was accomplished by one of three general approaches:

  1. The Team used the functionality and algorithms of an existing system but redesigned the software in an object-oriented environment using modern software languages (e.g., Standard Missile launch control).
  2. Legacy Systems were integrated into the computing and control infrastructure with few changes by developing a "wrapper" around the system. This "wrapper" approach makes it easier to incorporate new baselines of legacy systems with minimal changes over the life of the ship. This approach simplifies configuration management, minimizes programmatic coupling, and is still able to capture future upgrades.
  3. The Team chose not to utilize the legacy system and built their own because the available system did not support enough of the Arsenal Ship unique requirements. (e.g. integrated survivability control system). Fire support deconfliction must be addressed at the Joint force level to ensure rapid and safe response to call-for-fire. Deconfliction is determined by allocated no-fly and no-fire zones rather than supporting real-time deconfliction decisions, which are necessary with the increase of sea-based long range fire support weapons. The availability of large volumes of inexpensive ordnance remains a priority of the Army and Marine Corps. ATACMS launches are not currently considered available for call fires by USA and USMC. The Marines consider low cost weapons more accessible for direct and general fire support missions. There is a need for analysis to determine the overall cost effectiveness of massive amounts of inexpensive dumb ordnance versus smaller amounts of extremely expensive precision ordnance. The operator can be taken out of the loop for weapon control systems. The issue still remains whether the technology is advanced enough to automate target selection, identification, and battle damage assessment functions, all of which were to be performed off-board Arsenal Ship. Command authority issues should never be automated but can be delegated to rapid response systems.

3.3.8 Communications

As an entity enabled by the Information Age, the Arsenal Ship relies on robust connectivity to obtain targeting, mission data and weapons release authority. Process Description

Resources at System Planning Corporation (SPC), SPAWAR Systems Center, San Diego, (SSC-SD, formerly NRaD), and The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) were tasked to track and technically assess the evolving communications designs for ASJPO. They developed common format block diagrams of the functional architecture, conducted engineering analyses, and identified technical and operational risk areas. One purpose was to understand the information flow, independent of the particular communications channel employed, from source to ultimate destination.

An effort was initiated at SSC-SD to configure their C4I R&D Centers to replicate the connectivity proposed by the Teams. This effort was terminated in August 1997 when it became apparent that the original objective to make quantitative measurements was not feasible this early in the design cycle.

ASJPO interactions with the Teams encouraged them to consider diversity of communications paths and an ability to accommodate future structures of Joint Force connectivity over the life of the ship. Communications Lessons Learned The rapidly changing connectivity designs made it difficult to replicate them in a R&D Center. The lead time to configure hardware sets, and computer models, made it difficult to replicate and assess the evolving connectivity designs. In addition, proposed new hardware elements and message types were not available. The process of asking detailed questions to support R&D Center testing of their concept, however, did encourage the Teams to become more specific in their designs. Some design trades, such as new TADIL messages and formats, are outside the control of the Teams. Operational issues, such as availability of satellite communication bandwidth, modified or new TADIL message formats, and future JTIDS stacked net configurations were not under the control of the Teams. They made assumptions to support their connectivity concepts, which would have matured jointly in the following phases. Many options exist for future joint connectivity to support Arsenal Ship-enabled distributed warfighting. No single unified approach to joint connectivity was found. The Teams produced approaches derived from their CONOPS which were consistent with today's connectivity options and which could support projected ones. Communications path innovation was limited since onboard assets had to be compatible with offboard systems. It was in the automation of onboard assets and handling of data that opportunities for different approaches were found. Industry has much more capability to quickly develop and field a total integrated system for communications. The Teams were effectively designing a Joint Maritime Communications system without relying on the Navy for the components or software development. Industry has more freedom to select from a broader range of COTS, GOTS or new development systems than the services. There is less "stovepiping" of systems design due to the pressure to cut costs and improve overall performance. Non-Conventional threats such as Information Warfare, conventional Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP), and High Power Microwave (HPM) were not highlighted. Distributed warfighting places increased reliance on availability and security of communications. Evaluation of the threat of unconventional means of disturbing the transfer of information should be undertaken.

3.3.9 Information Infrastructure

Large systems increasingly rely on Information Technology and are typically designed with an integrated, internal digital communications capability linking computers together into a collaborative distributed processing environment. This shared infrastructure was recognized as essential to the proper functioning of the Arsenal Ship. Process Description

Perhaps here, more than the other areas, the Teams were encouraged, primarily by their internal PAE process, to adopt commercial practices and develop a design that embraced open system architectures. No formal assessment methodology was employed and normal reviews and design documents provided disclosure of their approaches.

In all cases, innovative and robust designs were proposed that fell into the mainstream of commercial computing practices and represented major increases in capability over present ships. Ubiquitous high speed integrated digital communications (voice, data, video) and general purpose redundant computer plants to support all electronic functions on the ship, including sensors for damage control and condition based maintenance, were designed. Information Infrastructure Lessons Learned Teams demonstrated a capability to adopt commercial open-architecture practices and adapt them to a ship design. Government open system standards such as DII/COE were acknowledged and selectively adopted but the main emphasis was on commercial open system approaches in areas of operating systems, networks, computer hardware, and protocols. Multi-level security for integrated networks is an important issue. The traditional physical segregation technique for data at different security levels is incompatible with the basic philosophy of shared networks and has a major cost impact. This is an issue bigger than Arsenal Ship and new techniques, procedures, and regulations are needed and are being addressed by appropriate agencies. Information System designs are scaleable and have the potential for reuse. Typically computer networks and distributed processing designs are scaleable either upwards or downwards.

3.3.10 Software Development Process

Computer software is an area of increasing concern and cost in large system development and integration. Studies by the Software Engineering Institute and others have concluded the development and support processes are critical to producing high quality computer programs. Government Process Description

NSWC/PHD/ECO was tasked with reviewing and assessing the process of software development proposed by each Team. The Teams were each invited to host a meeting where they described their approach to a small set (4 or 5) of ASJPO advisors. Team attention was focused on understanding, rethinking, and refining their approach to software development in an environment without imposed Government process specifications. Process innovations were encouraged but not pushed.

Each of the Teams described their methodology for Arsenal Ship software development. They described their successes on past projects and process improvements proposed for AS. Internal software process audits, SEI ratings, and other relevant information were presented to convince ASJPO that their approach was credible. Software Lessons Learned The Government approach had the desired effect of highlighting the importance of software and its development process. The request for disclosure of software process spurred the Teams to focus attention on this area and consider commercial innovations. Specialists from the commercial software marketplace or SEI should be invited to participate as advisors in future competitions. Relief from Military Standards permitted a more appropriate software development process. Industry Teams were allowed to rely on their own, proven software development methods, rather than be forced to apply rigid Mil Standards, such as 1679A, 2167A, 498, etc. Most took a modified 498 approach that retains control while not overburdening the development process. A demonstrated development process plus having controls and metrics to ensure tracking, consistency and quality are the critical components. With commercial certification at SEI level 3 or higher, Industry Teams are very capable of governing their own software process.

3.4 Ship Hull, Mechanical and Electrical Design (HM&E) & Ship Production

3.4.1 Background

Each of the competing design teams used a slightly different philosophy but all were similar in their motivation to satisfy both the requirements and the cost goals at the highest performance level. Survivability and mission capability of carrying and remotely launching 500 missiles dictated the HM&E design.

Each Team's HM&E design reflected the experience of the shipyard that was a member of the Team. Overall, the hull design starting point was from another program or typical of the shipyard's product line (e.g., commercial ship, aircraft carrier or destroyer). That initial hull concept decision then influenced a lot of the other design trades for the ship systems.

Initially none of the shipyards had complete early stage design capability or naval architecture talent available. Each Team engaged a naval architecture firm as part of their effort.

All of the designs were heavily driven by the magazine protection systems. The one week Survivability Course provided by the Government at the beginning of Phase II marked the start of this effort. In addition, the Teams brought the NSWC Vulnerability Group onboard, some to a greater extent than others. The trades driven by the physics of the problem were very clear and each Team chose a different approach consistent with their hull design concept.

All of the Teams integrated their production engineering and planning early in the process and used design innovations to try to improve the production process. This was motivated by the requirement to provide an irrevocable offer as part of the Phase III proposal. This effort included developing a build strategy, module break concept and process layout in some detail.

All of the Teams focused on using some form of commercial specifications and materials. All used commercial trade with no HY-series steel.

The mission profile of both a high speed transit and a 90 day loiter speed on station suggested some form of electrical propulsion or auxiliary propulsion system.

All of the Teams used commercial specifications for most of the equipment and relied on some form of rafting or isolation to protect the equipment from shock or environmental effects.

3.4.2 Process and Production Lessons Learned For industry to significantly alter the way they do business (as was done for the Arsenal Ship Program), they must create project teams largely separate from the parent organization and its associated culture and bureaucracy. Further, these project teams must be empowered to implement change. Large corporations have a deeply ingrained culture in which it is difficult to deviate from the norm. It is simply not possible for an entire company to change on short notice for a single project. All of the Arsenal Ship Industry Teams enjoyed considerable autonomy and respite from much of the bureaucracy of the parent companies. The Teams must have full ownership and responsibility for design, fabrication, assembly and test. Repeatability and Commonality significantly enhance productivity. Navy-designed ships have relatively little "commonality" or inherent production repeatability. The Arsenal Ship Industry Teams made extensive use of repeat structural segments, mirroring of the ship (port and starboard sections identical), and common modules. Significant industry cost and schedule savings can be realized through the integrated efforts of engineering, production, procurement, logistics and cost estimating personnel. Typical industry practice involves stove-piped efforts of engineering, production, procurement, logistics and cost estimating personnel. This practice provides for less than optimum products and processes resulting in increased costs and greater cycle times. Integrating the various groups can yield significant gains in cost and schedule. For example, as engineering conducts the design, drawings are produced that optimize production, equipment can be chosen to optimize procurement options, supportability can more readily be designed-in up front, and the impact of various design options on acquisition and life cycle costs are all available in real-time. The use of Other Agreements Authority, Sec. 845, did allow savings especially in the area of material selection where the traditional process could be replaced with a commercial approach. Relief from Competition in Contracting Act (CICA) was particularly valuable in that Teams could solicit for the best total vendor "package" of cost, technical support, training, upgrades and service life logistics rather than be forced to select the vendor with the lowest acquisition cost. Related benefits include: (1) allowing Industry to nurture long term relationships, (2) the numerous benefits, such as reduced non-recurring costs, associated with doing business with a company that is familiar (3) reduced cost and time associated with contracting, and (4) benefits associated with providing engineering with more design data at an earlier stage. It should also be noted, however, that to maintain a favorable negotiating position it may be necessary for industry to protect or conceal their early decision to go with a particular company. Commercial building practices may be readily applied to naval ship combatant construction. Despite the shock, whipping, signature, weapons effects, and other military features built into Arsenal Ship, the Industry Teams demonstrated that it is entirely possible to take advantage of commercial practices, such as: (1) parallel structure and outfit construction processes, (2) reduced number of installation parts, (3) "building block" vice "stick built" products, and (4) repeatable products and processes. The approach that seems to maximize the commercial benefits is to start with a 100% commercial criteria and then add military criteria only when required.

3.4.3 Design Lessons Learned Similar trade studies conducted by different Teams may lead to results not only quite different from each other, but inconsistent with current Navy thinking. Although the Industry Team solutions had many similarities, there were stark differences as well. These differences are a result of differing assumptions, company culture, goals and objectives. One example is the different types of propulsion system chosen by each of the three Teams. In one case, the type of propulsion system seemed inconsistent with that type of system deemed most advantageous based on recent Navy trade studies. Industry should have maximum ability to establish those requirements that impact their production process and products. To minimize cost and schedule, Industry Teams must be able to optimize use of their unique facilities, personnel, processes and expertise. Freeing Industry affords them that opportunity. Examples include (1) choosing steel plate sizing that optimizes their production line, (2) allowing industry to establish construction breaks, block sizes, packaging of equipments, etc. to account for plant layout, lift capability, etc. Skid mounting equipment, while affording production efficiencies, actually adds weight. Industry trade studies clearly determined that skid mounting equipment provided for significant cost and schedule advantages. It does, however, add weight. This added weight is an important consideration for weight sensitive designs. Less dense ships increase design flexibility and lower cost. Allowed to generate their own requirements and designs to maximize performance under PAE, all three Teams developed designs more "spacious" than Navy standards. Beneficial results included: areas designated for distributive systems (service trunks), longer and straighter piping runs, simplified vent ducting requiring fewer parts, etc.. Raft mounting COTS equipment to provide for shock isolation, appears to be technically feasible and provides for significant savings in acquisition, production, and life cycle costs. While detailed analyses of the shock mitigating abilities of the rafts was not conducted, preliminary results indicated that it was indeed achievable. The majority of the cost savings are realized through the purchase of COTS equipment. The right mix of fire fighting systems was difficult to determine and the subject of considerable design studies. Through the conduct of extensive trade studies, industry determined that water mist provided the most effective means of extinguishing fires (in conjunction with foam in machinery spaces), was cost effective, and that acceptable commercial systems were readily available. It is not clear why the Navy is pursuing their own water mist system given the fact that commercial systems are currently in use, especially in cruise ships. Acceptable options are available to provide for a low signature, low manning, operationally effective and a safe aviation support facility. Through discussions with NAVAIR, NAVSEA and NAWC Lakehurst, the Industry Teams determined that it was indeed possible to design a helicopter landing facility to meet established signature goals.

3.5 Missile Launchers

3.5.1 Background Phase I - Concept Studies

The CONOPS/SCD specified the need for about 500 VLS cells. This was initially assumed (but not required) by ASJPO to mean MK41 cells, since the cost of a new launcher development was deemed well beyond the scope of the program. Since GFE was eliminated, the launcher was left unspecified primarily to keep in the spirit of free and open trade space given to the Teams. Therefore, at the outset of Phase I, ASJPO wanted to ensure equal access to design data and potential cost reduction modifications for the MK41 VLS Launcher, with Lockheed Martin Aero Naval Systems (LMANS), the sole source Industry Team to PMS-410. LMANS was requested to support all competing Teams which they ultimately did.

None of the Phase II competing Teams chose the current MK41 VLS system. There were at least four business factors that swayed the Teams away from MK41: (1) since approximately 1/3 of the total ship cost was in launchers, too much of their trade-space would have been locked out if forced to use the MK41 as a fixed cost element, (2) LMANS, and by inference the whole LM Team, would have too much insight into a competing Team's design, (3) even if LMANS had been more flexible on trades and pricing, the profit for 1/3 of the ship would go to a non-Team member, and (4) the potential for launcher profits on SC-21 was even a larger draw than Arsenal Ship for future launcher sales (effectively, Arsenal Ship would be helping support the winning Team develop a launcher to compete with MK41 on the SC-21 program).

As the competing Teams initiated the search for MK41 launcher alternatives, they found they had three options: (1) develop a new launcher from scratch, (2) partner with NSWC/Dahlgren on the CCL (Concentric Canister Launcher) program, or (3) work with UDLP (United Defense) who was a MK41 supplier when there were two manufacturers. All three approaches were taken by various Teams. Phase II - Functional Design

Tests were needed to reduce development risk to an acceptable level by the end of Phase II and prior to downselect for detail design and construction in Phase III. This necessitated use of representative missile loads. The Government made available spare rocket motors, missile parts and standard VLS canisters at no cost to support the tests. Help from PMS-410 and PMS-422 was indispensable in obtaining these parts and to ensure safe tests.

The fact that launcher tests could be accomplished in the short time period of Phase II is an indication of the maturity of vertical launcher design. With performance essentially ensured, much more concentration could be devoted to the production and cost aspects of the design. All Teams did an in-depth, cost estimate that included materials, labor and process costs.

In parallel with Arsenal Ship Joint Program Office (ASJPO) reviews of the launcher designs, the Weapons Systems Explosive Safety Review Board (WSESRB) conducted a series of safety reviews for the weapon system and its associated systems including the launchers, the computers, software, fire fighting and damage control features affecting explosive safety. ASJPO insisted that all industry designs be driven through the WSESRB, so that the question of weapons firings in Phase IV of the program would not become a contentious issue. The Board advised all Teams (through the ASJPO) on concerns and issues and were very supportive. They were open-minded about the often novel way in which the Teams were developing their designs and focused instead on the desired performance of safety features rather than their specific implementation.

3.5.2 Process Lessons Learned New launcher developments were a surprise to the program office. Launchers are a major cost item for the ship and were treated as a mandatory new development by each Industry Team to attain a competitive edge. This should be expected on any new competitive procurement where a major item is not specified as Government Furnished Equipment (GFE). It also occurred because the MK41 legacy system was owned by one of the competitors who then would have held too much influence over their cost structure and too much insight into their design. Only industry can conduct meaningful cost analysis of such systems as launchers. Government does not have the expertise nor data to perform the detailed cost analysis necessary to estimate prices of major weapons systems such as launchers. WSESRB is a vital part of the Government's explosive safety program. WSESRB's function is to review and comment, not approve or direct. It advises the program manager who is responsible for program safety. Industry Teams are not in a position to accept liability for use of explosive ordnance. Detailed design issues are not normally evaluated by the WSESRB - it looks at the processes in place and the results.

3.5.3 Launcher Technology Lessons Learned VLS launchers have become a mature technology. The short development time and low investment cost involved for new launchers development point to a mature technology. Development time for Arsenal Ship launchers would have been about 1/2 that for MK41 with development costs perhaps 1/10. Risk reduction on launcher systems requires some live testing. Modeling and simulation is not enough because aspects of launcher systems cannot be modeled properly, e.g., ablative erosion. There are numerous high quality launcher testing facilities available. Several private as well as Governmental launcher test facilities were utilized for the launchers. All had modern measurement equipment, test setups and qualified personnel. The Government still needs to invest in survivability features and tests. Survivability features of launchers and other systems are still unique needs of the services and are not supported by commercial suppliers. This means that the Antifragment and Explosive Load Reduction (ELR) systems development might have to be borne primarily by the Government, either through a separate effort that was made available to all Industry Teams, or through extra investment in the Arsenal Ship project, with funds going to the single Team entering Phase III. During Phase II, ASJPO invested some funding in testing ELR systems applicable to all Teams' launchers. Government often has free assets available for testing at no cost. Older rocket motors (MK104) near the end of their service life were made available for tests. A few R&D motors (MK72) were available because they were not production units. Canisters with defects were also available. They were given to the Teams as no-cost GFE. Significant help from PMS-410 and PMS-422 made this possible.

3.6 Operations & Support

3.6.1 Background

The subject of Operations and Support encompassed manning, maintenance & repair, operating cycles, forward operating bases, and central operating bases. Issues such as Personnel Tempo of Operations (PERSTEMPO) and dry docking cycles were addressed. All the Teams considered the Blue and Gold crewing concept and the use of civilians for ship operation. The use of military and civilian personnel, both civil service and private industry, was considered to perform maintenance. Phase VI of the program optionally allowed the Teams to propose providing the life cycle maintenance for the Arsenal Ships. All indicated they would propose providing life cycle maintenance.

3.6.2 Lessons Learned The right approach to designing for very low manning is to start with zero manning and justify each billet. A zero-based approach that looks at whether the function is necessary at all or whether it can be eliminated by more extensive use of technology (e.g., long life hull coatings) and/or automation works! While all of the Teams achieved a very low manning number it was not fully determined whether the required maintenance underway could be achieved, with the issue of corrective maintenance being the most elusive. It was also not clear if housekeeping and food service were adequately addressed. Manning reductions should be evaluated from a total ownership cost viewpoint. The military and civilian manning to operate the entire system, from administration, technical support, maintenance support, ship operation and possibly with multiple crews, must be considered. A very small afloat crew with an extensive shore support staff for maintenance is not necessarily less expensive than a larger afloat crew that performs some of its own maintenance. Manpower reductions must reflect the elimination of work rather than the transfer of work to a different venue (although transfer of work ashore may permit it being done at less cost than afloat). It is important to constantly stress the balancing of operations & support costs and acquisition costs. There is now little doubt that major crew size reductions are possible. The question is whether the non-recurring engineering (NRE) effort, including software development and modeling & simulation, will be sufficient to allow a few people to operate the ship. Additionally, appropriately reliable equipment and systems must be selected to reduce maintenance workload. The in-service maintenance concept must be worked out in sufficient detail to ensure realistic maintenance cost estimates. To achieve proposed manpower reductions, selection of appropriate equipment and systems must be matched to reliability, repair, and maintenance criteria. During the early stages of design (e.g., Phases I and II) most equipment have not been selected, yet manning reductions are postulated. The criteria for making future procurement decisions for individual systems or equipment must ensure that the proposed ship availability and crew maintenance workload are not compromised.


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Last revision: 10 March 1998