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Some technical managers are moving closer to a more disciplined approach when introducing ship systems into the fleet. In the past, many installed systems with inadequate testing. These systems were simply not operationally ready. The consequences of their actions show in impaired performance, system down-time and fleet casualty reports (CASREPS).

Thorough, cohesive and well-managed testing will insure operationally ready ship systems. However, testing must not be done as an independent project to prove whether or not a system meets requirements. The technical manager must consider testing as an integral process of engineering and design. He can do this, if he uses the disciplined total systems approach to ship systems' development and introduction. Testing is an important process in this approach; is not an end unto itself; and is integral to the life cycle of a system. The test process must be adequately designed, constructed and operated. Program management is the most adaptable management technique to testing. In a test program, facilities, fuel and manpower are significant cost factors. The technical manager can minimize test costs and still use a facility that adequately meets his needs. He should use test sites, test facilities, land based test sites, or land based engineering facilities. He must be creative and innovative. He must introduce other techniques to reduce time and cost. These are discussed.

In 1978–1979, one of the authors developed this concept and with the other implemented it at the Naval Ship Systems Engineering Station (NAVSSES), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NAVSSES is discussed as the Navy's Ship System Development and Production Test Center. Several system based facilities are introduced.

Simply hypothesizing that developmental and initial phase production testing pays off is one thing, but the proof is in actual test results. The paper looks at various tests recently conducted at NAVSSES and shows how several technical managers achieved improved system and component performance through well planned testing, viz., the LSD-41 propulsion system, the FFG-7 diesel generator, air compressor, the RACER, and the reverse reduction gear test processes. The phased development of the DDG-58 LBEF is discussed.

The paper concludes that substantial pay-off resulted in those instances where the technical manager treated testing as a process integral to engineering and design. Other conclusions are also drawn.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: U.S. Naval Academy 2: Villanova University

Publication date: June 1, 2011

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