The Navy’s Common Aviation Support Equipment program office (PMA-260) successfully completed the Crash and Salvage Crane (CSC) Maintainability Demonstration (MDEMO) at the Fleet Readiness Center (FRC) Norfolk, Virginia Feb. 3.

The MDEMO is an important milestone in the acquisition process, ensuring that the new crane is sustainable, maintainable, and ready for reliable operation in the Fleet. The demonstration verified the Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) for Intermediate Level maintenance is within the required and specified limits.

“The new CSC design will ensure the warfighter has the safest, most modern, maintainable and reliable equipment possible for years to come, and we are looking forward to bringing this improved capability to the Fleet” said Capt. Robert Burgess, PMA-260 program manager.

CSCs are critical pieces of equipment because no flight operations are allowed on ships without an operational CSC running on standby. They are used for lifting and moving disabled aircraft on aircraft carriers and landing helicopter dock ship flight decks. These new versions, designed by industry partner Allied Systems Company, replaces the legacy carrier and amphibious assault crash cranes.

The legacy CSCs were designed decades ago and have been a workhorse in the Fleet for many years, having exceeded their anticipated life expectancy. They have become increasingly difficult to maintain due to obsolescence issues. The new variants correct those deficiencies and are much easier to maintain.

During the MDEMO, Fleet sailors from two aircraft carriers removed and replaced 30 components while performing unscheduled maintenance tasks following the technical manual instructions. The event’s success supports progression into production of the cranes for delivery to the Fleet.

“NAWCAD Lakehurst engineering timed the tasks and determined the MTTR requirement was met, and FRC personnel supported the assembly and proof load testing of the crane,” said Cmdr. Tommie Crawford, PMA-260 common ground support equipment team lead. “The team’s dedication, maintenance intellect and shared experience were instrumental to the success of the event.

The new CSCs are on track to deliver to the Fleet February 2024.