Features of Application of Import Items in New Articles of Military Equipment
Georgy N. Muru Chief Engineer of FSUE “51 CSRDTI"
The first issue of industrial and scientific digest “Technology of Ship Repair” of 2005 includes “Revisited: Issue on Increase of Ships’ Reparability during Their Designing.” article by VE Smirnov. With high level of confidence one can declare that this topic has not run out of stream and still is very important and challenging for the Russian Navy.
In elaboration of the topic, the present article covers the issues related to application of imported components of foreign make on ships and vessels at the stage of their designing.
First of all, decisions of the state concerning structural changes in ship-building are meant for ensuring stable development of the native industry.
However, during a rather long-term period of economical instability, many enterprises have changed their profiles and nomenclature of the products manufactured or ceased production and commercial operations.
The necessity of designing modern ships and vessels in Russia leads to the need for implementation of foreign-make components. It should be admitted that the nomenclature of such components is increasing.
Among the typical measures oriented to development of the industry, there are offers to accept VAT zero rates for import equipment, equivalents of which are not yet manufactured in Russia. So, why such items are to be manufactured at all?
Experience of 51 Central Ship Repair Design and Technology Institute in elaboration of technical documentation for ships and vessels of new projects shows that for some time past the designers trend to install the following foreign-make items on ships and vessels designed for the native Navy: main engines, compressors, cranes, capstans, winches, complete sets of shaft lines, portholes, doors, etc. In regard to that, the tendency of accepting such design decisions trends to increasing both nomenclature and frequency of application.
All pros of the foreign-make items in comparison with the native ones are impersonal, namely:
- higher reliability of operation
- more ergonomic and modern design
- less weight and overall dimensions
- lack of necessity to introduce orders for development works to the native industry with the purpose of designing and manufacturing new items with design specifications of the ship designer (if native equivalents are not available)
- less acquisition value of import items in comparison with native ones.
It would seem that all round profitable and successful technical solution requires its estimation in comparison with the full service life and operating cycle of the ship to be designed.
According to the design data, during the full service life (25-30 years) the ship undergoes 1-2 medium and 3-4 current repairs.
Therefore, import equipment installed onboard the ship should ensure failure-free service up to the planned docking repair of the ship. The mentioned requirement is to be confirmed by the documentation developed at the stage of draft project elaboration as well.
As a rule, the data on the specified operation hours up to docking repairs, full service life, and warranty terms of import equipment is not included in the detailed draft projects.
Single documents for the import equipment which allow estimating the legal application of these items by comparing them with the preset operation cycle is not presented to the Customer as well.
Detail and repair documents for the import items are ordered neither in Russian nor in the manufacturer language.
It is evident that under such circumstances, the fully-featured maintenance and repair of complicated import equipment intended for further trouble-free service is practically impossible neither at secure facilities nor at the naval bases.
The hope for the Russian Lefty who can do everything will not come true due to impossibility to ensure quality control and acceptance of works. Moreover, the flea shod by Leskov Lefty was not able to hop after that anymore.
Service (corporate) maintenance of the import equipment by the manufacture (supplier) to be performed yearly is rather costly, limited by secure reasons at the naval bases and is impossible in some periods.
Therefore, in case of necessity to repair the import equipment installed onboard the ships, the issue of its replacement with a new one or with a native equivalent similar to import items by the specifications will occur.
It is to be recalled, that in the 70-90s of the last century, there was a necessity to repair foreign origin ships and vessels being in service in the Navy (landing ships, cable vessels, floating workshops, tug boats, etc.) at the repair yards of the fleet in this way. In such cases, without delay, the yard engineering services or experimental design engineering bureaus of the Navy were forced to elaborate lists of possible replacement of the import equipment with native equivalents searching them all round the country, to redevelop installation drawings, installation diagrams for pipelines, circuit and wiring diagrams for power supply lines, etc.
Is it required for the Russian Navy to iterate the past nowadays or in the foreseeable future?
The valid GOST РВ 52429-2005 “Ships and Vessels of the Navy. Order of Establishment and Expiry of Warranty” applies to the ship equipment as well.
The mentioned standard covers establishment of the items’ guarantee period on the basis of warranty terms provided in Design Specifications for the ship.
Considering the specified requirements, the warranty service life of the import items to be fitted onboard new ships should be not less than 5 years.
In addition to that, in case of the import items application, at the stage of the detail design elaboration, the designers together with manufacturers/suppliers should outline the additional range of issues related to ensuring the warranty and opportunity to perform repair during postwarranty period, if required, namely:
- repair during postwarranty period by forces of manufacturers/suppliers
- development of the following documents during detail design elaboration:
- Order List for the import equipment with indication of the warranty terms and service life to docking repair for each item
- Components List warranty terms of which are less than the warranty service life of the ship (including the items supplied from abroad)
- List of Possible Replacement of the import equipment with native equivalents with indication of their specifications and suppliers
- providing delivery of detail documentation on the import components (in Russian) to the Navy by the beginning of the ship detail documents’ elaboration
- providing delivery of repair documentation on the import items (in Russian) for the Navy within the same terms.
Issues related to applicability of the import equipment and items onboard new warships might be complicated by non-observance of the abovementioned mandatory requirements either by designers or by the Customer. During in-service period of the import components, the significant obstruction is almost random supply of spare parts.
In conclusion it ought to be noted that foreign customers buying warships in Russia, mention supplying of a full set of repair documentation complete with the ship as one of the mandatory terms of contracts.