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Risk Management in Total System Ship Design

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Ships are being designed with an increased emphasis on reduced life cycle costs, obtained through means such as reduced crew size, increased automation, and adoption of commercial practices. Ship cost is closely related to the likelihood and consequence of future events, or risk. Ship designers must have tools to assess and manage risks to obtain cost‐effective designs. Risk assumptions were built into prescriptive standards, but performance standards are now being used. Ships systems built to varying degrees of acceptable risk are not cost‐effective. Underdesigns and overdesigns will result, and the ship ends up only as strong as its “weakest link.” The authors propose that the top‐down risk management methodology that is currently used for commercial ships be considered for use by naval ship designers in conjunction with both the traditional ship design spiral and the total systems ship design concept. The IMO‐endorsed formal safety assessment (FSA) methodology was designed for marine systems. By adopting the FSA approach the Navy will benefit from existing lessons‐learned, and will have a smoother transition into the application of commercial standards when the ship is built.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2000

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  • The Naval Engineers Journal is the peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE). ASNE is the leading professional engineering society for engineers, scientists and allied professionals who conceive, design, develop, test, construct, outfit, operate and maintain complex naval and maritime ships, submarines and aircraft and their associated systems and subsystems.
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