Ann Arbor, MI, August 23, 2022—NCMS is pleased to assist the US Navy with keeping ships in top shape while at sea through the new Repair Technology Exercise (REPTX), taking place Aug. 22 through Sept. 2 at Naval Base Ventura County.
More than sixty technology suppliers are testing their products’ capacity to tackle real-world fleet maintenance challenges, including assessing and repairing potential battle damage during REPTX’s 12 days of technical demonstrations and field experiments aboard the Navy’s Self Defense Test Ship, an asset of Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD).
REPTX offers a unique opportunity to evaluate innovative products and services that could potentially help sailors carry out the repairs needed to keep them underway. Industry and academic participants were identified and vetted via NCMS’s engagement with its network of hundreds of innovative technology solutions providers.
“Our priorities as a warfare center are to deliver and sustain readiness, modernize and maintain the current fleet, and field the surface fleet of the future,” said Capt. Andrew Hoffman, NSWC PHD commanding officer. “REPTX demonstrates these priorities by allowing both industry, government and academia to work side-by-side while exploring innovative maintenance concepts that we can rapidly deliver to our forward-deployed warfighters.”
REPTX participants include private industry, academia and government that will demonstrate technologies designed to address four focus areas: visualization, command and control aids, forward manufacturing and expeditionary maintenance.
Visualization refers to dynamic inspection methods that enable a ship to see itself and the world around it, above and below the water line.
Command and control aids help naval commanders make rapid, data-driven decisions and real-time situational assessments.
Forward manufacturing hubs, such as additive manufacturing or 3D printing systems, reduce ships’ reliance on long-distance supply chains, increasing readiness in theater.
Expeditionary maintenance refers to the Navy’s ability to perform maintenance operations and battle damage assessment and repair while a ship is forward-deployed.
During REPTX, the technology suppliers will test their solutions on NSWC PHD’s Self Defense Test Ship; a 563-foot-long decommissioned Spruance-class destroyer the Navy uses to evaluate naval weapons and emerging technologies.
Naval Sea Systems Command’s (NAVSEA) Naval Systems Engineering and Logistics Directorate Technology Office (NAVSEA 05T) selected 65 technologies to take part in the event, including unmanned aerial vehicles and submersibles, additive manufacturing equipment, ship-to-shore communication systems, inspection and repair tools, and above- and below-water visualization devices.
REPTX will immerse the technologies in a variety of shipboard scenarios, such as loss of lighting, an unidentified object on the hull, pipe corrosion and leakage, and damage to the ship’s superstructure.
“The format will provide a realistic fielding environment, both pier-side and underway, allowing teams the chance to field, adjust, learn and retest their solutions,” said Janice Bryant, sustainment technology manager at NAVSEA 05T and the sponsor of REPTX.
Along with addressing one of the four focus areas, the technology needs to be capable of taking on a “day job” — in other words, serving a routine purpose beyond a damage control role. The technology also has to be user-friendly enough for a ship’s crew to learn quickly.
NAVSEA 05T expects REPTX to enhance the Navy’s technical assessment and rapid fielding of emergent applications that could help sailors improve their ships’ operational conditions, ultimately increasing readiness across the Navy fleet.
“Boosting self-sufficiency and sustainability in the fleet brings a host of benefits, including faster and more efficient maintenance at the point of need, reducing burdens on naval shipyards and keeping ships engaged in their missions,” Bryant said.
REPTX is part of the broader Advanced Naval Technology Exercise-Coastal Trident 2022, which began in June and runs to September and which NSWC PHD organizes and aims to bolster port and maritime security through field experiments involving emerging technologies and training events with law enforcement and other first responders.
For more information on REPTX, go to www.ncms.org/events/2022-reptx.
Photos and video of REPTX will be available to the media at: https://www.dvidshub.net/unit/NSWC-PHD.
NSWC PHD is a field activity of NAVSEA and provides the US Navy fleet with in-service engineering, test and evaluation, and product support for combat systems. The command is located at Naval Base Ventura County in California.