NSWC Philadelphia completes preliminary design review of government-ship control system for USS Gerald R. Ford-class (CVN 78)

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

“Our nation’s greatest asset is its people with our ability to adapt to design changes and develop innovative solutions to difficult problems. The Navy has designed the Ford-class with a flexible infrastructure to incorporate new capabilities for enhanced system integration that facilitates operational readiness,” said NSWCPD Commander Captain Dana Simon.

Ship Controls & Navigation: CVN and New Development Branch of the NSWCPD has the dual mission of being the In-Service Engineering Officer (ISEA) for transport ship control systems and the software support activity for software products developed and operated by the government that support both SCS-Gov and the Navigation Critical Distribution System (NCDS). SCS-Gov provides the steering control and propulsion interface and the NCDS enables the distribution of navigation-based messages and information along with situational awareness displays located at various stations on 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 US Navy to improve standardization, performance, and reliability. reliability.

“The Ford-class transporters were acquired with a problematic, proprietary original equipment manufacturer (OEM)-based system, already plagued with obsolescence, and does not meet the requirements of the review board of the design based on full review (post-collision survey and assessment),” said NSWCPD Branch Manager, Vessel Controls and Navigation: CVN and New Development, John Dolan.

The SCS-Gov system provides a standard, modular and robust ship control system design, with a human-machine interface (HMI) improved and evolved over time, based on operator feedback and continuous improvement of processes, lowers the total cost of ownership (TOC) over the life of the vessel through a significant reduction in variants and reduces obsolescence issues. Improvements, maintenance and management are shared by several program offices. It features an industrial grade control system based on a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), a minimum life cycle of 25 years, source code designed and owned by the government, with full monitoring, diagnostics and an approach to alarm significantly conducive to the operator. SCS-Gov resolves issues with outdated hardware, integrates cyber-secure and enhanced software, and resolves Design Review Board (DRB) issues and action items.

The PDR is an important step in the development process.

“The PDR captures the development plan in detail and the current design based on our system engineering process, includes defined entry and exit criteria, and is intended to result in a milestone decision and agreement for continue to the final design which will later be captured in the Critical Design Review, prior to full production and actual ship class implementation,” Dolan said.

NSWCPD engineers met with various stakeholders in the management of the NAVSEA program, vessels (PMS) 312 and 378, technical mandate holders, NAVSEA 05 and vessel design managers. All voting stakeholders gave their consent to the PDR for the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Class SCS-Gov.

The NSWCPD is now moving towards Critical Design Review later this calendar year. SCS-Gov is approved for CVN 78 and John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) as a Vessel Change Document and has been concurrently enhanced for new builds on CVN 80 and 81.

Abdul J. Gaspar