Logistics Concerns Over Navy's Guided Missile Frigate FFG-7 Class

PLRD-81-34: Published: Jul 7, 1981. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 1981.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Henry W. Connor
(202) 275-4141
contact@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

GAO evaluated the integrated logistics support planning for the Navy's guided missile FFG-7, a new class of ocean escort ships designed to operate in areas of low enemy threat.

Integrated logistics support planning for the FFG-7's was designed to reduce the number of shipboard personnel needed and to increase ship availability. To achieve these objectives, several new approaches to logistics support were developed. The planning process for developing these strategies has been comprehensive. However, it could have been improved by keeping logistics plans up to date, estimating costs of logistics support strategies, and applying analytical approaches to developing logistics support requirements earlier in the acquisition process. The FFG-7 maintenance plan is centered around a new approach called progressive overhaul, which relies heavily on the removal and replacement of certain equipment at predetermined intervals and short and intensive periodic maintenance actions. The plan's success is strongly dependent on the effective implementation of various logistics strategies. Potential obstacles which threaten the success of the FFG-7 class strategies include: lack of skilled personnel aboard the ships and at maintenance facilities, the inability to accurately forecast material requirements for planned maintenance actions, and the need for a timely and accurate system for accomplishing and monitoring the maintenance plan. The Navy needs to determine whether the use of reliability centered maintenance can reduce intermediate and depot maintenance costs. GAO found that inventory being stocked to support intermediate maintenance activities appears to be excessive. The Navy will have difficulty providing properly skilled enlisted personnel to the ships.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Navy disagreed with the recommendation as it relates to the FFG-7 baseline design. While there were some design alternatives that could have been considered, it felt that it was too late in the acquisition process to initiate changes to the baseline design.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to reconsider previously rejected cost-benefit decisions for ship design and equipment alternatives to reduce crew requirements.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Navy disagrees with this recommendation and has not taken any action. GAO plans to do a followup review which will allow it to evaluate operational data, which was not available during this review, to quantify the extent of excess of shipboard material.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to consider the replacement frequency of end equipment in determining FFG-7 class shipboard spare parts allowances.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Navy disagreed with this recommendation. It stated that the additional stock levels are necessary to implement the maintenance strategy. The GAO review will evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of FFG-7 supply support strategies.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to reassess stockage of the same items in colocated geographic and corrective maintenance stocks to avoid unnecessary duplication.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  4. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Class crew requirements are still under review and the final crew level is expected in 1-2 months. The crew level has increased and the Navy has stated that it does not expect decreases because the new logistic support strategies and increases are due to maintenance and watchstanding needs.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to revalidate FFG-7 class crew requirements after new logistics support strategies are implemented.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to improve the accuracy of the system used to identify planned material requirements for the FFG-7's.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to develop specific policies on using reliability centered maintenance in maintenance planning for future ship construction.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  7. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to make greater use of reliability centered maintenance if it can reduce maintenance costs for the FFG-7 class ships at the intermediate and depot levels.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  8. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Navy disagreed with this recommendation. It stated that personnel shortages are shared equally between ship classes. Because of the FFG-7 maintenance strategy, GAO believes that the shortages will be more severely felt than on other ship classes. The followup review will analyze this issue.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to develop an action plan for overcoming shipboard personnel quality shortages on FFG-7 class ships.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Sep 14, 2016

Sep 2, 2016

Aug 8, 2016

Jul 28, 2016

Jul 13, 2016

Jul 7, 2016

Jun 24, 2016

Jun 21, 2016

May 26, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here