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Now is the time to deliver on Support Advantage (sponsored)

3rd June 2021 - 10:00 GMT | by Industry Spotlight

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This article is brought to you by CDS Defence & Security

With the recent Defence Integrated Review reigniting the appetite for defence equipment programmes such as Boxer and the Type 83 Destroyer, now is the time to really concentrate on an integrated approach to support engineering and to work towards delivering what the Review calls Support Advantage. Now, more than ever, Primes and OEMs have a responsibility to deliver equipment that will not only meet performance requirements, but can also be economically supported throughout the programme lifecycle.

The recent push for the MOD to adopt the S Series specifications (Integrated Product Support (IPS) is aimed at bringing back into focus the integration of all support considerations which contribute to maximizing the operational availability of equipment at an optimal lifecycle cost. However, over the last decade there has been a noticeable decrease in the ‘Integration’ of support considerations in product development. This failing is most often characterised by reducing data exchange at every IPS cooperative boundary as items are designed, produced, used, maintained, repaired and disposed of. Coupled with the decreasing numbers of properly trained practitioners in defence organisations, and the MOD in general, it’s easy to see why looking to expert third parties to manage this process entirely is becoming the preferred option.

Getting it right from the start

As a rule, the UK MOD follows the CADMID (Concept, Assessment, Demonstration, Manufacture, In-Service, Disposal) methodology which can be quite neatly split into two phases. Phase one takes us from concept to manufacture and this is where the biggest benefit to an integrated approach can be realised. Working with a third-party consultancy such as CDS Defence & Security allows Primes and OEMs to break out of the sometimes-siloed approach to the stages or ‘gates’ of the CADMID framework and take a largely holistic view of the entire programme, ensuring that the decisions made in the concept and assessment phases have a proportionate effect on the manufacture, in-service and disposal phase. For example, when we worked on the now defunct Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP) our technical team were able to contribute to the very successful WCSP Logistics Demonstration.  We achieved this by working hand in glove with Lockheed Martin, and seconding several members of our team to into their department in Ampthill. For larger, more involved IPS projects, we have worked either wholesale from our Govt approved premises in Cheltenham or integrated seamlessly into existing OEM teams, providing a single point of contact for the core capabilities of the full programme delivery.

Ensuring capability availability

Ensuring availability of equipment versus the cost of through life management is a difficult balancing act for any OEM. The major benefits are realised when our IPS team works with the design team to optimise the various ‘design for’ disciplines during early design. Optimal cost is achieved where the ‘design for’ cost curves cross. By bringing together our expertise in fully understanding system failure and recovery modes (MTBF, FMEA, LORA, MTA and RCM) in a performance-based environment, we are able to offer advice about which of the reliability, maintainability and support chain levers to pull to achieve the optimal support solution. When through-life support requirements forms part of the initial design activity processes can be put in place to optimise availability across the full lifecycle of the programme. 

All these processes have one aim: to maximise the operational effectiveness of the equipment or system in question. Where challenging Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are written into contracts, we can help to mitigate risk by managing the deliverables across all ‘gates’ of the process.

People + equipment = capability

A military capability is not simply a piece of equipment, such as an armoured vehicle for example. Rather, it is an armoured vehicle with a trained crew that can communicate, meet identified threats, and be properly maintained and repaired during peace or combat operations. Increasingly, the MOD are placing the responsibility for operator and maintainer training on the OEM, and if you don’t have the ability to create this in-house, it can be a costly and time-consuming addition to the existing programme of work.

CDS DS have a team of engineers and training consultants who can work collaboratively with you to develop DSAT (JSP822 or S6000T) compliant training solutions. These can then be delivered by our expert trainers, or by yourselves as a 'Train the Trainer' package.

The breadth and depth of our engineering knowledge, combined with first-hand experience of military operations, means we understand defence equipment, how it needs to perform and who is responsible for maintaining it. This means we can tailor any training package to your specific requirements.

Making cyber security a priority

At their core, safety, environmental and cyber security are all about risk management. There is a plethora of DSA Regulations, Defence Standards and International Standards which define how we should respond to mitigating system and equipment risk. From the safety perspective, we mitigate this risk by establishing a strategic approach using common systems such as Def Stan 00-055, 00-056 and POSMS (Project Oriented Safety Management System). In the environmental space we work to Def Stan 00-051 and POEMS (Project Oriented Environmental Management system). We are able to work with you to develop a Safety & Environment Management Plan (SEMP), which enables us to manage the process to ensure the risk to life is Tolerable and As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP). The latest issue of Def Stan 00-056 has introduced the requirement to consider cyber security and safety risk alongside each other. Stealing a march on the competition our Heads of Support Engineering and Cyber Security have been working together for over 12 months to define how safety and cyber risk are dealt with within a safety and cyber case. In the increasingly digital battlespace we’re operating in, not baking the cyber element into the safety considerations runs the risk of becoming an expensive ‘bolt on’ when issues are discovered further down the line.

CDS DS has worked with a range of defence equipment manufacturers, providing cyber security and information assurance consultancy which considers threats from all angles, from data in transit to the loss of intellectual property from insider threat. Working with CDS DS from project initiation means cyber security can be woven into the core of the programme, and as the lifespan of a programme is over 20 years, this can only become more vital as our reliance on technology in defence increases.

So, who are CDS Defence & Security?

CDS DS is a specialist Support Engineering, Training, Information Assurance and Operational Support consultancy and engineering service provider. For over 30 years we have provided specialist services to the Defence, Aerospace, Maritime, and Nuclear industries. We use our knowledge to improve your organisation’s operational effectiveness, maximise people performance and reduce risk. Our team has significant experience serving on UK military operations, giving us a realistic context upon which to base our advice and services.

If you’re looking for an agile, responsive partner to provide defence programme essentials – speak to CDS Defence & Security today.

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