Alternatives To Consider in Planning Integrated Logistics Support for the Trident Submarine

LCD-79-415: Published: Sep 28, 1979. Publicly Released: Sep 28, 1979.

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The Trident submarine's Integrated Logistics Support plan was developed to sustain the Trident by having submarines on patrol 70 days and being able to deliver 24 missiles to their assigned targets. Trident's operational cycle renders it more available than the present fleet ballistic missile submarines. The Trident cycle consists of a 70-day patrol followed by a 25-day refit and test period and is to continue for 9 years. The Integrated Logistics Support plan includes collecting and retaining information on equipment, maintenance tasks, repair parts, and critical Trident components. This process is known as Logistics Support Analysis (LSA). It is essential to defining support requirements, predicting logistics costs, and evaluating logistics alternatives.

Due to an inadequately executed Logistics Support Analysis process, implementation of the supply support plan has been delayed. Similar delays in the submarine's delivery lessened the impact of the support plan delay on the overall Trident program. The supply support plan does not use the most accurate data to develop estimates on the reliability of Trident's components. Nor has the Trident Logistics Support Analysis process had sufficient information to select equipment and evaluate logistics alternatives early in the program. It is not too late for Navy logistics planners to consider other, more accurate, methods for supplying the submarine. Trident crews can be assigned more efficiently. Currently, the Navy assigns two crews to each fleet ballistic missile submarine. One crew operates the submarine while the other crew is in port. The Trident submarine staffing plan calls for a similar assignment of two crews to each submarine; instead, it is suggested that five crews be assigned to three submarines.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require the Navy to use the Department of Defense (DOD) standard to develop an LSA program. DOD has prepared a standard LSA implementation guide that has a detailed explanation of LSA, a sample data system, and a presentation of standard data elements. It specifically provides for operator and maintenance considerations and shows how to make maximum use of LSA early in the acquisition cycle. This guide also establishes the following essentials for every LSA program: analysis and definition of logistics support requirements; prediction of logistics support costs; and evaluation of logistics alternatives. The Secretary of Defense should require the Navy to: use the Trident Support Site to support other Navy programs, especially during Trident's early operational years; test a five-crews-for-three-submarines policy for Trident submarines; and develop detailed plans for delivery of future submarines and other vessels to the areas where they will be used. The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Navy should fully explore alternatives to the Trident east coast facility and present the options and tradeoffs available to the Congress. Until the tradeoffs are adequately considered, a decision to develop an east coast Trident support site could be premature.

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