In the United States named the recipient of the prestigious award CIO 100 for 2019 magazine Chief Information Officer — (“Director of information technology”). The winner was the Corporation Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS), which builds aircraft carriers class “Ford” and is one of the two suppliers of submarines for the US Navy. The award says “for the adoption of business-oriented IT strategies for the integration of modern technologies in shipbuilding”.
Given that NNS represents a major shipbuilding company in the defense industry, the U.S. Navy, the news, undoubtedly, is an alarming signal to Russia’s security. Of course, our country is protected from direct aggression by a nuclear triad, but it would be a big mistake to downplay the strategic importance of American aircraft carriers and submarines.
NNS has developed digital work packages for the aircraft carrier Enterprise (CVN 80), which will be the first ship built entirely on paperless documents, and is preparing to move to the “figure” production of the latest submarines of class “Columbia”. Data from the ship’s computerized drawings are already being fed into transport and welding robots, as well as sheet metal cutting and bending machines. The Assembly of ship blocks is also automated. For these purposes, $ 152 million was spent, or 10 billion in purchasing power parity. rubles — a penny compared, for example, with spending on “electronic government” in the Russian Federation.
The explanation for the award separately told that Newport News Shipbuilding receives special recognition for the use of management strategies in technological business with the aim of improving cost transparency and confidence-building.
To make it clear how important this is, we will cite a few figures: the introduction of digital design and management will reduce the cost of Gerald Ford-class aircraft carriers from $ 10 billion to $ 6 billion (by 40%) and significantly reduce the construction time. NNS engineers when ordering two carriers are ready to put into operation one ship every three years.
Savings are achieved not only through optimal management and logistics but also through the prevention of corruption. If in the “zero” years at the largest shipyard in the United States and then scandals broke out with the substitution of metal and components, now the “figure” prevents middle managers to do their little gearshift.
Curiously, James Girts, the Pentagon’s chief procurement officer for the fleet, stressed that digital design would provide direct savings of 20% compared to the cost of building the first class aircraft carrier “Ford”.
It turns out that in a regulated America, non-production financial losses of us naval program can reach 20% of government money, which “evaporated” from inefficient management, poor logistics and theft in the form of “cunning business schemes”.
Even if we imagine that in Russia the scale of the mess in shipbuilding and corruption, which has become, alas, a “national sport”, are comparable (because our managers studied from overseas), then we can roughly estimate the amount of budget money that went to the domestic shipyards in the sand. Considering that in the framework of the State program of development of armaments GPV-2020 is planned to allocate 5 trillion. of which 47% was intended for the construction of new ships, we can talk about 800-900 billion rubles, to put it mildly, inefficiently used. That’s one.
The second and worst for Russia — NNS technology, in fact, cast our military shipbuilding in the stone age. The transition to digital design and construction of warships in the United States opens up new opportunities for Americans. Overseas, many of the most important programs were closed, only because they were prohibitively expensive and had design errors that were also costly to fix. Now it’s a thing of the past.
In addition, American ships, as well as ours, by the way, are often repaired for a long time, which also draws on additional resources. Often the reason lies in the poor quality of metal, coatings, and welding. To avoid these problems, NNS has implemented digital laser and x-ray scanning.
Here, it turns out, is very important as the real professionalism of top managers and true factory patriotism. In particular, Bharat Amin, Vice President, and chief information officer of NNS, commenting on the transition to the “figure” said: “I am proud of my team for what it helps to change the world and gives shipbuilders the ability to create modern warships with tomorrow’s technology. It’s an exciting time.” He, like other top managers of NNS, all his life lived in Newport News (Virginia), he does not have an apartment in Washington, and even more so abroad.
Do we have many such Directors who do not live on two or even three houses, do not have accounts in offshore?
Third — digital design makes it simple and clear to switch to new machines, robots, and presses, that is, it predetermines the modernization of the entire shipbuilding engineering industry.
As you know, the surface of the ship’s hull is a complex 3D curved surface, which on the one hand, becomes a source of “conflict” between designers and builders, and on the other – overloads the shipyard with the expensive manual labor of scarce welders. To close this gap, you need to create a fleet of special CNC machines and robots. The experience of other countries, such as Korea and China, shows that these tasks are solved, and quickly enough — would be digitized court projects.
Designs of bending machines and hydraulic presses for three-dimensional forming of thick-walled sheet metal are described in detail in the technical literature. If you look, there is nothing complicated and to create welding robots and large manipulators for the Assembly of individual ship blocks. Recall, the Soviet Union was a leader in automatic welding during the Second world war. Then, thanks to the new technology, it was possible to put on the conveyor the production of the legendary t-34 tank. Fourth — according to the publication Defense One, “in the (American) MIC digital technology extends beyond the shipbuilding industry. Boeing Corporation used them to develop a new training aircraft Boeing-Saab for the air force. From the signing of the contract to the first certified flight, three years have passed — a pace incredible for the creation of new types of weapons.
In this regard, it seems strange somehow priority transition in our country to the “number” of public Services, because the simplest logic “screams” that it was necessary to start with those areas where the maximum effect is achieved. In theory, this and “lawyers” from the government should have been clear.
No one argues that “e-government” has its advantages, but a competent government would first bet on the development of IT-technologies in the real economy, in the same shipbuilding. Time “zero” was enough, that would account for today to save for the Treasury of vast resources. But instead, the Medvedev Cabinet went the other way and spent precious years and money to ensure that as many people as possible to dismiss from various bureaucratic offices.
Is this a strategic approach? The question, alas, is rhetorical.