The Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA) is a unique partnering relationship between industry Babcock, BAE Systems and Thales UK) and the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) and is responsible for delivering the Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC), soon to be the biggest and most powerful surface warship ever constructed, to the Royal Navy.
The first aircraft carrier will be handed over to the MOD later in this decade. During the Support Assessment Phase the team needed to systematically undertake an assessment of a range of Carrier Support Options, identifying the optimum definition of support services, and proposing the most appropriate procurement strategy - ensuring these services would be managed and maintained effectively as the carrier is brought into service.
LSC Group, with significant experience in the application of Modelling and Simulation (M&S) for a range of defence procurement programmes, was asked to produce a strategy for applying M&S to support the assessment of the support options for QEC. The report focussed on logistic support modelling activities such as life cycle costing, availability prediction, maintenance planning and inventory optimisation; as well as the contribution M&S can have to realising an affordable and sustainable commercial model for through-life support.
The M&S strategy provided the team with greater visibility of the various tools and techniques that could be applied during the Support Assessment phase to derive the optimum support solution.
If the recommendations were applied, they could deliver significant benefits including:
Improved ability to derive an optimum support solution - to deliver the carrier in line with the target in-service date with minimum cost and risk
LSC Group, using its experience on a number of platforms, has delivered modelling support for QEC looking at through-life operational and support costs.
Objective, repeatable and auditable, these models have helped answer the affordability question, delivered critical data in support of key approval gates and provided greater confidence in decision making.