Maritime Sustainment in Navy – Embracing Asset Management
Mr. John West of BAE Systems presented on this topic to a combined IMarEST/RINA audience at the Mission to Seafarers in Docklands Melbourne (21st FEB2019). John has worked in the design, deployment and operation of support systems in the Defence environment for 22 years and is currently serving as the asset management subject matter expert for the maritime sustainment business of BAE Systems at Williamstown in Melbourne. BAE Systems was recently contracted to deliver nine Hunter Class frigates to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
John provided an overview of the topic as it applies to the Royal Australian Navy. He identified that the required asset management methodology is specified by the Australian Government Department of Finance and is based on international standards. It requires development of an ongoing close relationship between major systems suppliers and the RAN.
John outlined the recognised nine fundamental inputs (FICS) to Navy capability, the ninth of which is industry. The Australian Government reportedly recognises that development of a sovereign naval capability must necessarily involve industry as a partner in the process if a sovereign naval capability is to be achieved.
Planning how an asset will be managed must occur during the process of its acquisition. The customer, or more particularly the end-user must work with the supplier to define in absolute terms how the asset will be used. Once defined and agreed, a support system must be designed that will enable that use to be sustained throughout its planned life. Once the asset is in service, all relevant operating and maintenance parameters must be monitored, recorded and compared with the initial product and function baselines to determine whether the support plan needs modification. The RAN and the principal manager of its industrial support base, the Capability Acquisition and Support Group, have a formal agreement between them which provides the framework for managing each major capability as a distinct 'product'. Asset management also requires planning and management of the asset during its disposal at end of life.
Support, which by itself is one of the nine FICS, also intersects with other FICS. Navy itself is responsible for delivering key maintenance and sustainment functions to the overall required sustainment outcome using its own uniformed personnel at sea. John indicated that with respect to Royal Navy plans for their equivalent to the Hunter Class frigates, early discussion indicates an approach where more heavily skilled uniformed maintenance staff will be embarked to undertake more invasive maintenance activities away from home ports.
John was thanked by both IMarEST and RINA at the end of his presentation on behalf of the 12 different organisations represented in the audience.