Navy reduces number of lost days due to repair delays
By DAVE RESS | The Daily Press | Published: November 10, 2020
(Tribune News Service) — The Navy’s efforts to boost planning, accelerate contract awards and move equipment sooner to shipyards have slashed the number of days ships are idled because of repair delays.
Lost days because of slower-than-expected repair fell from more than 7,000 in fiscal year 2019 about 1,100 for 2020, Naval Sea Systems Command spokeswoman Colleen O’Rourke said.
“Two key factors: having required equipment on site and the beginning of an availability and a stronger planning process,” she said, using the
Because shipyards can’t start planning and positioning necessary parts and equipment for a repair project until a contract is in hand, the
Currently, Naval Sea Systems Command is awarding repair contracts an average of 92 days before work is slated to start, and the aim is to do so with a 120-day lead time, O’Rourke said.
Contract language is changing, too, O’Rourke said. The aim is to make it easier for shipyards to move quickly when the
Inspection schedules are also changing, to focus on parts or systems of a ship where the
Overall, the aim of these changes is to avoid interruptions at shipyards work when additional work orders come in.
“We have seen an improvement in the contract process that allows us to do more upfront planning on submarine maintenance availabilities,” said Newport News Shipbuilding spokesman
He said the yard is working with the
“For example, we have been contracted on an early production period on USS Boise prior to the start of the engineered overhaul,” he said.
“The early production period provides specific opportunities ahead of the [overhaul] to identify and mitigate material conditions that could negatively impact [the overhaul’s] duration,” he said.
Among the key changes that have come with the Boise work, the
Boise’s overhaul had been scheduled at
O’Rourke said the
In addition, Naval Sea Systems Command is doing detailed data analysis, through its “Performance to Plan” that are already resulting in more accurate predictions of how long maintenance and modernization work actually involves, she said.
The command is making similar efforts to cut delays at its four public shipyards, which concentrate on maintaining submarines and carriers, O’Rourke said.
Earlier this year, the
It reported that 75% of planned maintenance periods were completed late for aircraft carriers and submarines in fiscal years 2015 to 2019, with an average delay of 113 days for carriers and 225 days for submarines.
In September, Naval Sea Systems Command relieved Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s commander, Capt.