Using Additive Manufacturing to Mitigate the Risks of Limited Key Ship Components of the Zumwalt-Class Destroyer

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Wang, Xiao Y.
Whitworth, James R.
Date of Issue
Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School
The purpose of this project was to explore the benefits of using a combination of additive manufacturing (AM), performance-based logistics (PBL), and open systems architecture (OSA) to mitigate the risks of limited key ship components for the Zumwalt-class destroyer (DDG 1000) program. Specifically, this project was focused on current industryメs capability for AM and the implementation of AM in the near future. Research was conducted in three phases. First, this research reviewed the problems and challenges within the defense industry. Next, this research reviewed the previous research on intellectual property (IP) concerns with AM (particularly, insourcing versus outsourcing) and the latest AM applications in the marketplace and defense industry. Finally, this research focused on DDG 1000 program documents, including the Acquisition Strategy (AS), the Life-Cycle Sustainment Plan (LCSP), and a Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages (DMSMS) analysis. By conducting a comparison of DDG 51 and DDG 1000 and analyzing an AM arrangement among Airbus, Systemanalyse and Programmentwicklung (SAP), and United Parcel Service (UPS), this research concludes that the government can use AM, with a properly structured PBL arrangement and OSA, to substantially mitigate risks, lower operation and support (O&S) costs, and effectively improve system readiness. Zumwalt-class destroyer (DDG 1000) is a three-ship program that represents the pinnacle of state-of-the-art technology. Because of technologies, intellectual properties, and scale economies, DDG 1000 is in a sole-source, or limited sources, acquisition environment. The risks associated with a limited supplier base could threaten the part support on many key ship components and the overall performance of its service life for the next 25 years or more. For cost saving purposes, all three ships will have a homeport in San Diego, CA, where organic repair, off-ship maintenance, and performance-based logistic support take place. The DDG 1000 program is also facing budget cuts, program cost growth, and competition from other classes of ships; therefore, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships and the DDG 1000 program office must find ways to mitigate the risks of key ship components and enhance system performance with a sound life cycle sustainment strategy. Traditional approaches for operating and maintenance are accomplished with organic repair capabilities or contracted services. Due to the technology complexity and existing organic capabilities, a combination of organic support and performance-based logistics (PBL) has been identified as part of DDG 1000メs life cycle sustainment plan. Regardless of the approaches, either the government or the chosen PBL providers will have to tackle the obsolescence issues and address the issues associated with a limited supplier base. Traditionally, the decision-maker will have to decide on either a lifetime-buy or bridge-buy decision, based on industry data and the obsolescence management forecast, and anticipate failure rates to ensure that the needed parts are available for the operation and support of the systems. The advent of additive manufacturing (AM) and recent technology advancement can eliminate the need for a lifetime or bridge-buy decision, reduce shipメs operating and maintenance costs, and enhance system performance. Research on AM developments is used to identify capability gaps and explore opportunities for improving system readiness. In order to introduce AM as part of the solution, this project first examined the benefits and limitation of PBL and assessed the competition requirement for federal acquisition strategy and the challenges in obsolescence management. This project then verified that PBL and OSA are part of DDG 1000メs acquisition strategy, as they are the prerequisites for entering a contractual agreement with contracted service providers for Operation and Support (O&S) and enabling system interoperability. This project subsequently compared operating and support characteristics between Arleigh Burkeヨclass (DDG 51) and Zumwalt-class (DDG 1000) ships and assessed the ability of the DoD to expand DDG 1000メs logistic support footprint, similar to the arrangement among Airbus, Systemanalyse and Programmentwicklung (SAP), and UPS. The purpose of the study was to research the latest AM developments within the commercial marketplace and defense industry and explore the ways that AM can help to drastically reduce the risks of limited key ship components. The project answered the following questions: ? How should the government structure PBL contracts that will incentivize the use of AM? ? If the government decides to insource, what are the considerations in make-or- buy decisions? ? How can the DDG 1000 program leverage the capabilities of AM for its existing and future requirements? Primary research data was provided by the Zumwalt-class Program Office (PMS 500). Secondary research was collected from public resources. Based on the findings of this research, it is imperative to have AM, properly structured PBL arrangements, and well thought-out OSA strengthen each other and mitigate the risks of limited key ship components that are associated with their supplier base. Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC), PMS 500, and contractors could jointly identify parts as candidates for AM solutions. PMS 500 should also engage other DoD agencies on AM capacities and request information from defense contractors on their planned use of AM capabilities for part support.
NPS Report Number
Naval Postgraduate School Acquisition Research Program
Distribution Statement
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.