Family of Ships Employs Spiral Design

The U.S. Navy's Surface Combatant Family of Ships (SCFOS) will employ a transformational acquisition approach and focuses on developing a ship that can accommodate modular combat systems.

The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) combat systems modules will be developed separately from ship construction and will be integrated in an open systems architecture model. Additionally, early LCS development will heavily leverage pre-existing technologies. By leveraging the existing R&D efforts performed by the Navy and industry and accelerating the timeline for requirement development and acquisition, LCS will keep delivery times significantly shorter than those of traditional ship programs. To allow LCS to take advantage of and to incorporate emerging technologies, the program will employ a spiral development process.

The Navy's Spiral Development effort for the SCFOS is being led by Rear Admiral Don Loren, and the Program Executive Office (PEO (S)), Rear Admiral Charles Hamilton.

As the Deputy Director, Surface Ships in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Loren is the resource sponsor for the U.S. Navy's current and future surface combatants. He is responsible for surface ship warfighting requirements, maintenance, repair, modernization, and readiness on the OPNAV staff.

"Spiral development allows progressive fielding of more capable systems and more capability over time as technology matures, says Loren. "It gives us the potential for more rapid fielding of systems," says Loren. "It reduces initial costs and mitigates risk.

According to Loren, the Navy will require "Technology Management Plans" to ensure that technology insertion is properly planned and managed to avoid excessive ship impacts. "Through the spiral development process, technology gained during the development of one ship, such as DD(X), can also be leveraged for the other members of the family," he says.

Loren says the Navy will also develop a Technology Insertion Plan for evolving DD(X) and seeding technology to Family of Ships, and evaluate scalability of DD(X) to CG(X).

The LCS acquisition approach focuses on developing a ship that can accommodate modular combat systems. Combat systems modules and unmanned vehicles will be developed separately from ship construction and will be integrated in an open systems architecture model.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 31,  Oct 2002 Laser

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