Science and Technology News

Saturday, February 25, 2012

ONR's ManTech Program Shrinks Costs While Building Future Force

By Katherine H. Crawford, Office of Naval Research

ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) -- Following a final review Feb. 22, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) is transitioning its work on the second generation of the Navy's Electronic Warfare System (EWS), which will save $1 million per ship.

The project was executed by ONR's Navy Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) program and is just one example of how ManTech is saving the government millions of dollars each year.

"For warfighters, ManTech offers savings by reducing the costs of products that they buy," said John Carney, Navy ManTech program director. "Our investments often can transition a technology that improves capability that wouldn't otherwise be affordable."

ManTech, part of ONR's Office of Transition, improves manufacturing efficiency by working with defense contractors, Navy acquisition program offices and academia to enhance technological processes and equipment. The objective is not to build a new submarine, ship or airplane, but to make a product already in existence better, faster and at a lower cost.

"Ultimately, ManTech accelerates technology benefits to Sailors and Marines," Carney said.

ManTech and its innovative, cost-cutting processes are featured in a recently released video that highlights three major ManTech successes: Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP), Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) and the Virginia-class submarine:

- ONR released the EWS-SEWIP Block 2 project results to Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems. For SEWIP Block 2, the second version of the system, ManTech helped accelerate upgrades to the SLQ-32(V) System. The program also reduced the cost of buying and delivering these upgrades by approximately $1 million per ship.

- With JSF, ONR helped improve the manufacturing process for the aircraft's composite wings and other critical components. ManTech helped realize a 50 percent improvement in overall cycle time and an overall cost savings over the life of the project of $100 million after only a $3 million investment.

- For the Virginia-class submarine, ManTech has yielded $21.3 million per hull in cost savings to date through 23 process improvement projects. One of these was investing in a smart approach to welding pipes that boosts quality and production speed, resulting in more than 8,500 man-hours and $500,000 savings per VCS hull. Additional projects are in the works for future implementation, and ManTech is currently projecting a conservative $37.3 million per hull total in acquisition cost savings.

For more information about these and other ManTech projects, contact the ONR ManTech Office at 703-696-0352.

ONR provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps' technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 30 countries, 1,035 institutions of higher learning and more than 900 industry partners. ONR employs approximately 1,065 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel, with additional employees at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.

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