This week Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) issued a request for information (RFI) for the service’s shipyard infrastructure recapitalization effort.

The Navy is working through a Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program (SIOP) to recapitalize and modernize the infrastructure at the service’s four public nuclear shipyards: Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va.; Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine; Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Bremerton, Wash.; and Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

The Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Photo: GAO.

The public shipyards are primarily tasked with providing depot level maintenance for the Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines.

The RFI, posted in a notice to FedBizzOps, said following the April 8 industry day, the SIOP program office is seeking information from industry professionals in how they “could assist in management and execution of an infrastructure recapitalization effort at the Navy’s four public shipyards.”

Before the industry day last month, the Navy announced it established the SIOP program Office, PMS-555, back in June 2018 (Defense Daily, April 3).

“Because SIOP is a massive multi-billion-dollar undertaking spanning decades, PMS 555 intends to work closely with industry businesses in developing its requirements,” the RFI said.

This RFI’s purpose, “as well as the envisioned purpose of future RFIs,” is to solicit as many creative industry innovations, solutions, and suggestions as possible. “Essentially, PMS 555 hopes that industry will broadly assist in crafting SIOP solutions to allow for the best possible end result,” the notice added.

The Navy announced SIOP last year as a 20-year $21 billion plan to modernize and optimize the public shipyards. Officials said they planned to initially focus on repairing and upgrading the drydocks (Defense Daily, April 18, 2018).

The Navy’s first long-range maintenance and modernization plan explained the SiOP will restore outdated facilities while also reducing total personnel and material travel and movement by about 65 percent. This equates to recovering 328,000 man-days per year (Defense Daily, March 22).

NAVSEA said the SIOP is still in Phase II of the advanced planning stage. It noted some Phase II contracts have had issues but it expects future advanced planning contracts.

“Any and all creative solutions for any phase of the program are encouraged, including those from small businesses,” the notice said.

The notice said current conditions, configurations, and locations of the shipyard dry docks, facilities, and equipment “limit the future improvements that can be made. Anticipated future growth in both the CVN and SSN force, to obtain the Navy’s needs, will further exacerbate these challenges.”

The RFI said the Navy identified “multiple industrial and civil engineering problems that must be understood to better inform the program execution requirements.” The program office is looking for solutions to both manage the immediate program goals and planning the execution of the 20-year recapitalization plan.

The Navy emphasized its pursuit of a digital twin strategy, which aims to support an increase in maintenance throughput while reducing the cost of overall sustainment.

“In determining the appropriate recapitalization strategy, the Navy is pursuing a digital twin of the infrastructure at the four public shipyards. Part of the digital twin will include a current state model and a future state dynamic model that can be used for simulation analysis. The Navy is also seeking industrial technologies that will support the evolution from a 20th century industrial facility to a state-of–the-art 21st century industrial facility,” the posting said.