Challenges in Naval Ship Maintenance


The challenges associated with the maintenance of a naval ship start right from the conceptual stage of the ship building up until the disposal of the ships. The selection of the most appropriate maintenance strategy for the life cycle of the ship plays a key role in optimizing the maintenance efforts and reducing the overall cost of the ship’s maintenance.

Unlike the commercial ships, the range of expertise and skills required for maintaining a naval ship and equipment onboard is very large. The inherent complexities and the risks associated with the naval ship systems make the task of determining the best maintenance strategy for them very effortful. The enhanced operational demands of the naval forces due to the current political scenarios across the world make it difficult for the authorities to make the ship available for the maintenance in accordance with its upkeep plan. Another key factor which makes the naval ship maintenance quite challenging is the varied age of the ships in any leading naval force, which normally ranges from the newly commissioned ships to those which have completed more than 20 years in service.

Maintenance of a naval ship not only involves the design of an efficient Maintenance Management System but also the selection and implementation of the right combination of maintenance strategies. This paper is an attempt to identify the challenges associated with the maintenance of naval ships in order to negotiate them for optimizing the maintenance efforts.  



എന്നും മനസ്സിന്റെ കോണിൽ കിടക്കുന്ന സുഖമുള്ള നൊമ്പരമാണിന്നലെ,
ഓർക്കുവാനായിരം നനവുള്ള ഓർമ്മകൾ കൂട്ടമായ് പാർക്കുന്നൊരിടം ഇന്നലെ;
ഒരുമയോടൊന്നിച്ചു കഴിഞ്ഞ കാലത്തിലെ നന്മതൻ പാഠങ്ങൾ ഓരായിരം,
നാട്യങ്ങൾ ഇല്ലാതെ നല്ലൊരു നാളെയ്ക്കായ് ഒന്നായി പൊരുതിയ പേരായിരം…


ജീവതമെന്നൊരു യാത്രയിൽ നാം ഇന്നും അലസമായ് മുന്നോട്ട് നീങ്ങിടുമ്പോൾ,
നാം വന്ന വഴികളിൽ, നാം നിന്ന നിലങ്ങളിൽ,
നമ്മുടെ മുദ്രകൾ പതിഞ്ഞിടുമ്പേൾ,
സ്മരിക്കണം സാദരം നമ്മുടെ നാളുകൾ നല്ലതായ് നൽകുവാൻ നടന്നവരേ,
നാടിൻ നന്മകൾ നമ്മൾക്കു കാണുവാൻ സൂക്ഷ്മതയോടെ കരുതിയോരെ…

കാടായ കാടെല്ലാം വെട്ടിനിരത്തുമ്പോൾ,
പാടങ്ങൾ ഒക്കെയും മണ്ണിട്ട് മാറ്റുമ്പോൾ,
ഇന്നു നാം അറിയണം നമ്മുടെ ചെയ്തികൾ,
നാടിനു നൽകുന്ന നഷ്ടങ്ങളെ,
പിന്നെ നാട്ടാർക്കു നൽകുന്ന ദുഖ:ങ്ങളെ…


ഇന്നലെ രാവിൽ അലിഞ്ഞിടുമ്പോൾ,
ഇന്നിന്റെ ഭംഗി മറഞ്ഞിടുമ്പേൾ,
നാളെ തൻ സത്യം നമ്മുടെ മുന്നിൽ നഗ്നമായ് മറമാറ്റി തെളിഞ്ഞിടുമ്പോൾ,
ഓർക്കണം സോദരേ നാളെത്രയായാലും,
നാം ചെയ്യും നന്മകൾ നാളെതൻ രക്ഷകർ,
നാം ചെയ്യും തിന്മകൾ തന്നിടും ശിക്ഷകൾ…

Ship’s Life Cycle Management Matrix

The demand for increasing the operational availability of the naval ships is at its peak due to the increasing mission commitments across the world. The exponential cost of building complex naval ships coupled with the global economic slowdown has constrained even the most powerful governments from venturing in to the programs for fleet expansion at a rate proportional to the existing demand. LCMMThis situation has forced the world navies and leading naval ship builders to focus on optimizing and strategizing the maintenance aspects of the naval platforms and the equipment onboard in order to provide enhanced availability and a robust Through Life Management of the assets.  The requirement is to increase the operational availability of the existing assets through the implementation of efficient maintenance strategies and to optimize the life cycle maintenance of the future assets through the application of logistics engineering right from the design and construction phase up until the disposal phase.
The engineering decisions taken during the various phases of the life cycle of a naval platform is not only relevant from an overall cost perspective but also has the potential to make serious impact on the efficiency and availability of the platform to deliver the role and functions envisaged during the conceptual stages. Life Cycle Management Matrix has been developed to focus on identifying the key elements and areas of logistics engineering which needs to be considered during the life cycle of a naval platform for optimizing the maintenance requirements and to establish an efficient and cost effective maintenance program.

(Abstract of article)

Ps of Project

(Text to be updated)

In any project there are several important factors which determines it’s prospects for success or failure. In this article the attempt is to focus of the ‘P’ factors which fall in to this category.

  • Planning
  • PriorityPs of Project
  • Perfection
  • Preparation
  • Power
  • Progress
  • People
  • Professionalism
  • Popularity
  • Processes
  • Procedures
  • Practicality
  • Prevention
  • Politics
  • Past Experiences
  • Partiality
  • Partnership
  • Prejudice
  • Proficiency
  • Pellucidity
  • Participation

(Abstract of article)

Estimation of Maintenance Cost of Naval Ships

Reasonable estimation of the Maintenance Cost of the ships is one of the important requisites for preparing the fleet Operation and Support (O&S) budget of any Navy. The O&S cost would mainly include the Personnel, Fuel and the Maintenance cost  and normally the yearly maintenance cost of commissioned Naval Ship would consist of the following:

1. Afloat Maintenance Cost – Man-hours of the ship’s crew involved in the Level 1 maintenance activities. EMC1
2. Intermediate Maintenance Cost – Man-hours of the Base Maintainers involved in the Level 2  maintenance activities.
3. Workshop and Depot Maintenance cost – Man-hours for the Level 3 maintenance activities, Cost of Docking, Refits, Planned Additions & Alterations, unscheduled maintenance costs etc.
4. Material costs – Cost of spares, consumables etc. including material handling costs.
5. Industrial Service Costs – Cost of optional and mandatory service support availed from industries, including the OEM assistance.
6. Maintenance Training and quality costs.

While the calculation of the maintenance cost based on the historic data for the fleet and organization shall give a more accurate estimation, this is often tedious and time-consuming; especially in cases where the availability of reliable historic data is a question mark. In such situations the alternate solution is to go for a high level estimate using the Life Cycle Cost thumb rules.

EMC2According to the thumb rules of Life Cycle Costing the procurement cost of a ship amounts to 40 percentage of the total Life Cycle Cost and the balance 60 percentage amounts for its sustainment and disposal. Further break down of the cost of sustainment shows that the cost of maintenance amounts to 20 to 30% of the procurement cost and it varies with the size and complexity of the ships.