When failure is not an option: Assuring naval equipment availability 24/7
The naval battle group had reached its destination, now in position to intercept its target, a pirate ship headed to hijack a cargo tanker off the African coast.
All was ready until a red alert signalled a potential electronic warfare system failure in the lead frigate. So the imminent operation planned for weeks had to be postponed.
Can anything be done to avoid even the best naval equipment becoming unavailable, especially when it counts most?
In fact, this scenario is becoming a thing of the past with the digital technologies that Thales is providing to naval forces to assure availability through equipment reliability, predictive maintenance, and spare parts and fleet management.
Making sure that naval equipment is always on, everywhere
“No matter where and no matter what it takes, in crises or normal operations, Thales is making sure that navies can count on the availability of their equipment”, says Patrice Lacroix, Strategy & Marketing Director at Thales Defence Mission Systems. “That continuous commitment means that we are truly partners in assuring the reliability on which navies need to depend --- both to accomplish their complex and difficult missions as well as to defend themselves at all times”.
The process starts with designing equipment for continuous service, Lacroix explains. This involves building into radars, optronics, and electronic warfare equipment the sensors needed for continuous collection of data for HUMS, the Health and Usage Monitoring System. In this way, data is continuously monitored, collected, and analysed by artificial intelligence. Navy operational staff first selects the vital equipment that is needed for mission success and then Navy maintenance staff can issue alerts to out of line situations that require maintenance—before failure.
Continuous monitoring creates a fail-safe partnership
That continuous monitoring in itself creates real teamwork between Thales and the equipment users---the naval forces themselves. The result is a total understanding of the equipment and its management for optimal efficiency and effectiveness. And the natural consequence is pro-active quality control for naval equipment that must withstand long periods of often intense and fast-moving operation, with extremes of weather, temperature and water, if not unfriendly fire.
Thales’ smart technologies and algorithms assure equipment availability through continuous improvement in understanding equipment reliability and predictive maintenance.
“Through the use of digital technologies and data management, Thales today is part of a virtuous cycle that is revolutionising naval equipment availability, by assuring electronics reliability through precision predictive maintenance, ” explains Patrice Lacroix, “Thales expertise in applying Big Data, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and Cybersecurity to the digital transformation of supply chain management , as well as our long experience in naval electronics, makes us valued partners for the navies all over the world. They know that they can count on us—and, so, on their equipment--any time and any place for that critical success factor in their vital 24/7 missions”.