NSWC Philadelphia Completes Preliminary Design Review

A team of Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division engineers recently successfully conducted and completed the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) of the Ship Control System Government (SCS-Gov) variant that is planned to be integrated and installed on Ford Class Supercarriers.

“Our Nation’s greatest asset is its people with our ability to accommodate design changes and develop innovative solutions to challenging problems. The Navy designed the Ford class with a flexible infrastructure to build in new capabilities for enhanced system integration that facilitates operational readiness,” said NSWCPD Commanding Officer Capt. Dana Simon.

NSWCPD’s Ship Controls & Navigation: CVN and New Development Branch has the dual mission of being the In-Service Engineering Agent (ISEA) for Carrier Ship Control Systems and the Software Support Activity for inherently government developed and managed software products that support both the SCS-Gov and the Navigation Critical Distribution System (NCDS). SCS-Gov provides steering control and propulsion interface and NCDS provides for the distribution of navigation based messaging and information as well as situational awareness displays located at various stations throughout the ship. Both systems were originally developed for aircraft carriers to address technology obsolescence and reduce variance, but have since become the common cross-platform solution for the U.S. Navy to improve standardization, performance and reliability.

“Ford Class Carriers have been acquired with a problematic and proprietary Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)-based system, already plagued with obsolescence, and does not meet the Design Review Board requirements based on the Comprehensive Review (post collision investigation and assessment),” said NSWCPD Branch Manager, Ship Controls & Navigation: CVN and New Development, John Dolan.

The SCS-Gov system provides a standard, module and robust ship control system design, with an enhanced Human Machine Interface (HMI) improved and evolved over time, based on operator feedback and continuous process improvement, lowers the Total Ownership Cost (TOC) over the lifetime of ship through significant variant reduction, and well as reduces obsolescence concerns. Enhancements, maintenance and management is shared by multiple program offices. It features a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC)-based industrial grade control system, minimum 25-year lifecycle, government designed and owned source code, with and full monitoring, diagnostics, and an operator conducive significantly alarm approach. SCS-Gov addresses issues with obsolete hardware, incorporates cyber secure and enhanced software, and solves the Design Review Board (DRB) concerns and action items.

The PDR is a significant milestone in the development process.

“The PDR captures the development plan in detail and current design based on our System Engineering Process, includes defined entrance and exit criteria, and is intended to result in a milestone decision and concurrence to continue toward the final design that will be later captured in the Critical Design Review, prior to full production and actual ship class implementation,” Dolan said.

Engineers from NSWCPD met with various stakeholders from NAVSEA Program Management, Ships (PMS) 312 and 378, Technical Warrant Holders, NAVSEA 05, and Ship Design Managers. All voting stakeholders gave PDR concurrence for USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Class SCS-Gov project.

NSWCPD is now moving forward toward the Critical Design Review later this calendar year. SCS-Gov is approved for the CVN 78 and John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) as a Ship Change Document and has concurrently been improved for New Construction on the CVN 80 and 81.

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