The Use Of The Classification Process By Navies Accounting Essay

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Traditionally Royal Navy ships have been designed to in-house rules and standards, as a result of financial constraints this is no longer the case; the Ministry of Defence (MOD) is ever increasingly becoming reliant on industry to provide independent engineering and safety assurance for its frontline platforms. The first part of this dissertation notes the significant technological advances in the civilian sector and goes on to highlight the diminishing size of Naval Fleets and the pressures on the Ministry of Defence (MOD) budget. With the increased emphasis on partnering arrangements with industry, the potential benefits from economies of scale, whilst utilising the wealth of experience, commercial sector expertise and international engineering support provided by an established Class Society necessitates further investigation, understanding, evaluation, analysis and implementation. This goal fully supports the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), particularly with regard to economising processes, whilst reaping additional benefit from the service provided by business; this achieved through other safety assurance that unequivocally supports a platforms safety case. This potentially could be achieved through closer integration between all of the phases of the procurement cycle, thus reaping tangible benefits to all stakeholders for the success of a collaborative partnering framework. Identifying lessons and cost savings during the build process that may include real value if adopted by In Service Ships that were not built to Class would certainly deliver cost benefits. Moreover with the need for a sound and verifiable safety case it is obvious that there is considerable appeal in moving to a more integrated approach. This would ensure that the assurance process for each of the phases developed in line with each other, taking account of the experience gained from the commercial sector, In-Service Ships and ships currently under construction. The second part of this paper introduces Lloyd's Register's Naval Ship Rules and the Naval Ship Code, these were developed in partnership with a variety of Classification Societies, the UK MOD and other NATO Navies, these will be reviewed and potential benefits highlighted. Finally, this dissertation will highlight how the developing understanding of Naval Ship Rules has hindered the full utilisation of them. Unlike the Royal Navy's commercial counterparts, the Royal Navy has not yet developed or gained the experience and knowledge of Class Rules; this has created an information gap resulting in a steep learning curve, not only within the Royal Navy, but also within the Class Societies themselves. To move legacy platforms into Class, the MOD opted to apply for the notations that accomplish this and support the Key Hazard certificates required for every platform; however, my research into current business and new build practice has highlighted a number of notations that could quite easily be applied to legacy platforms that were not built to Class, but recently adopted it. This has, in the short term, the potential to reduce the In Service costs of legacy platforms too, whilst also influencing some fundamental decisions for the future navy. Having evaluated the cost benefits for legacy platforms I then identified that utilising the notations that I had focussed my studies upon, have the potential to reduce In Service costs for ships that are currently under construction. My findings have the potential to change the future assurance process and increase the interval between docking down periods for the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, this would have significant implications and will reduce the Through Life Costs (TLCs) of these platforms.


The use of the Classification process by navies can be traced back to 1859, however, with the exception of Lloyd's Register (LR) placing its entire work force at the disposal of the Admiralty during the war years there has been oddly, remarkably little interaction between them and the Royal Navy until recent years. All new-build ships used to be designed, constructed and maintained to Naval Engineering Standards (NES) but with the number of new builds reducing maintaining these standards became impractical. The pressure on defence budgets available to maintain the quality of NESs and the reduced availability of in-house expertise meant that the traditional method of technical support to the Fleet was no longer appropriate. In the past, the UK MOD had been at the forefront of technological change and growth in the fields of naval architecture and marine engineering, but as a number of navies increasingly saw hulls categorised as 'mature technology' and the inherent lower investment in 2nd Line Defence (compared with Front Line Defence) measures, the civilian sector increasingly embraced naval technologies to the extent that there is now much to be learned from the commercial sector. And so, whilst there was considerable interest in maintaining NESs, the practical realities of limited vessel numbers and severe budget constraints rendered this strategy increasingly less feasible to a point where the requisite assurance was unattainable to maintain a robust safety case.

Examples of commercial advances are in the offshore field, novel all-electric propulsion systems, advanced material solutions for ships such as gas carriers and, most relevantly, the rise of the high speed craft industry with its many and varied designs of mono- and multi-hull vessels. Moreover, the demands on performance by the International community, and to some extent the passengers of these vessels (for example, low noise, vibration, low pollution, high efficiency, high speed and good damage survivability), have rendered many of the features that were traditionally the preserve of NESs commonplace and exemplary practice.

It is only recently, from about 1980, that we have seen the UK MOD make use of the commercial Classification process on ships like HMS Ocean. Eventually in the 1990s Classification Societies developed specific Naval Classification standards and processes and these having been refined and adjusted over the past decade; however, the main focus has been towards the new build programmes.

The Ship Safety Case - Complete Safety Assurance

The MOD, unlike the merchant shipping regulations, has also opted for over-arching regulation by safety case with the key hazard certificates forming a distinct part of this safety case (FIG. 1). The safety case is a whole topic in itself and I will not dwell any further upon it in this dissertation other than to say that it is a extremely useful concept for advanced technologies for which standards do not exist or where operational exigencies may push well beyond the boundaries of the norm. It also clearly establishes certification in an authoritative but essentially advisory role:

"The ship complies with standard xyz but, while we are confident that the standard will meet the majority of your needs, we cannot take responsibility for the ship's suitability for all purposes on which it is engaged." Ref [??].

This responsibility is properly the province of the owner and, where requisite, his safety case. Naval Classification, freed from the limitations of statutory requirements, is far less constrained and so able to address the requirements of navies and naval ships in a flexible yet authoritative manner. For example, it would be quite possible for Naval Classification to embrace such matters as life saving and environmental protection; areas into which merchant Classification cannot easily trespass without reproducing (and possibly re-interpreting) conventions such as SOLAS and MARPOL. In Naval Ships Class, this achieved by the addition of optional notations.

Figure 1. The Inter-Relationship of Certificates and the Safety Case

The Needs of the Royal Navy

The Royal Navy, founded around 1660 in its present form, predates Lloyd's Register by a considerable number of years, but it was not until 1873 that the professional ship designers of the Royal Navy, the Royal Corps of Naval Constructors (RCNC), were established by order of Queen Victoria. This group of men, supported by their excellent staffs, serviced all aspects of naval ship design from concept to repair, but times changed, and in common with other navies, the UK MOD has slowly dismantled its in-house infrastructure by, notably, the out-sourcing of specification and design services, the out-sourcing of support services and the privatisation of the Royal Dockyards.

All of this has resulted in a vast reduction in the in-house support services and the ability to provide through-life cohesiveness between the various organisations responsible for ensuring the delivery and maintenance of a safe platform. In short, the UK MOD has taken its place alongside merchant vessel owners who 'shop around to seek the best deal'. For this reason, more than any other, a number of Duty Holders saw the need to re-introduce the 'glue' that bound the various activities together. Given that a re-invention of the past was not reasonable or feasible, what better way than to model the merchant ship regulatory regime to the greatest extent practicable consistent with the needs of the Royal Navy? Fig.2 demonstrates the process by which a ship is certified and we can see the 'glue' as the arrows between the boxes.

Figure 2. The 'Circle of Certification'

However, there are differences between the naval and merchant ship worlds. A fleet's defence imperative means that the Government is not prepared to be told that it cannot do something because of some minor technical failure to comply with the Rules. Circumstances may require that naval commanders deliberately set ships at risk for the greater good. For example, who would imagine a fleet to suspend an anti-terrorist operation because of a time-expired certificate, or interrupt disaster relief operations because of damage resulting in a condition of class of questionable relevance to the operation in hand? In such circumstances an immediate assessment of the damage or degradation and her consequent reduction in capability is required; from such information navies can then consider the risks and consequences to all of continuing or abandoning the operation. Naval Classification as envisaged by both the MOD and LR embraces all of these requirements, the key points of which can be summarised as:

• The need for a flexible yet authoritative regulatory regime.

• A far greater emphasis on advisory services than certification of compliance.

• Recognition of the operating patterns of a navy and its inherent high levels of manning.

This latter point is pivotal, there is a lot of difference between 300 metres of bulk carrier crewed by twelve casually engaged persons under the direction of a handful of officers and 140 metres of frigate crewed by two hundred professional and well trained career sailors.

In spite of the UK's leading role in world merchant and naval shipping in the first half of the 20th Century, there has been virtually no relationship between the RCNC and LR. There are few in either specialisation who understands the others area of expertise, it is difficult to find anyone who has had any in-depth exposure to their counterpart's world. Moreover, this pattern appears to be mirrored worldwide. By facilitating a greater understanding between these two respected authorities will pave the way to establishing cohesive and partnered working environment; however, much of the work to date has been to break down the existing (largely human) barriers.

Overview of the Classification Process

It is essential to understand the context of Classification Societies because it emphasises that Classification is more than a book of rules. Classification is an assurance process with clearly defined requirements and activities or procedures, as shown in Fig 3. Applying a rule book in isolation or contracting for a survey does not support the complete assurance process and crucially, misses out the feedback loop within the Classification process where Rules and processes can be updated through survey experience.

Classification = Rules + Process

Figure 3. The Classification Process

In terms of Rules, there are a wide range of published documents i.e. Rules for Ships, Naval Ships, Special Survey Craft, High Speed Light Craft, Wing and Ground Effect Craft, Lifting Appliances and Offshore Installations. This has highlighted a substantial issue for the naval designer, knowing which rule set to select. In most cases, the Rules have a defined applicability, but even like Rule sets will have a different scope i.e. cover different technical features. It is essential that this is easily understood because it defines the boundaries of the Classification process. Most rule sets use optional Class notations to modify or augment the limited scope of Classification. The relative costs in terms of Class fees and the scope would have implications on the TLC; however, a fuller scope, and therefore more notations, provides a significantly greater proportion of assurance.

Despite many of the Rules sets have a different scope, the regulation part of the Rules that define the process, is essentially the same for all Classification Societies. The Regulations section of any Rule set defines the key processes that form Classification: design appraisal, material survey and certification, equipment and ship construction survey plus survey in service.

Classification and Regulation

Lloyd's Register (LR)

Constituted in its present form in 1834, LR was founded in 1760. Progress in merchant ships standards and design methodologies was such that it did not, in the first instance, adequately meet the requirements of naval ships. Moreover, the size of the British Naval Fleet was second to none and so naval ships have been designed, constructed and maintained to naval standards, and these standards served the Royal Navy well through two World Wars. However, in the last few decades the design of hulls for naval surface ships has been fairly static, whereas there has been a virtual explosion in the wide range of civil designs. The Classification Societies have responded to this challenge, and additionally espoused the exponentially increasing legislation relating to safety of personnel and the marine environment. Of particular relevance is the publication of rules for the design and construction of high-speed craft, which introduced methods that are far more consistent with naval methodologies of the recent past.

For the merchant ship, the role of the Classification Society needs to be seen as a part of the wider issues of Classification, Statutory Certification and Registration. This will be easily understood by those working in civil fields, but a review may be appropriate for those not as familiar. To trade, a ship must be Registered; to achieve this the owner must obtain a whole raft of Statutory Certificates, these are issued by the National Administration. One such document is the 'Safety Construction Certificate' (the SafCon certificate) but, as the Flag States do not have Rules for the design, construction and maintenance of ships, they rely globally on a Certificate of Class issued by a Classification Society. In other words;

A Certificate of Class is an essential prerequisite to a SafCon certificate.

A Safety Construction Certificate is a essential prerequisite to getting the ship Registered.

Registration is a essential prerequisite to being able to operate.

Registration, which confers privileges and obligations, is inappropriate for a warship as, even if diplomatic clearance were not required to enter foreign jurisdictions (which it is), inspections by a foreign authority could not be tolerated.

Statutory certification is appropriate in selected areas (e.g. the collision regulations) but, because of the differences in activity resulting from the design intent of a naval ship, is at best only partially relevant in others (e.g. fire fighting and lifesaving). Classification is entirely appropriate and, if this is to the Naval Ship Rules, will remove the ambiguities that have arisen in the past as a result of the merchant ship Rules incorporating inappropriate requirements harmonised with the requirements of Statute.


With the notable exception of the Plimsoll line enacted in 1876, regulation is by and large a concept developed during the 20th Century, introduced to ensure that adequate safety standards have been complied with. Regulation is invariably associated with the inspection and issue of a certificate by a third party. The Royal Navy has, as have most other navies, resisted attempts to be third party regulated for particularly legitimate reason. The UK MOD has been pressured to put in place clear and verifiable self-regulation practices by adopting national and international law, thus ensuring that its practices and management are as good, if not better than the standards prescribed by law. The UK MOD now has such a system in place for naval ships, this being modelled as far as practicable on that of the civilian shipping sector. The principal UK civilian shipping regulator - the Statutory Authority - is the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), and the UK MOD has largely emulated this arrangement with the formation of Naval Authorities under the authority of the UK MOD Ship Safety Board. Certificates are issued for key hazards such as structure, stability, propulsion and manoeuvrability, fire and explosives safety by these Naval Authorities and it is the responsibility of Ship Project Teams or Fleet Commanders to ensure that their ships are in possession of the valid portfolio of certificates.

Classification brings with it effective management procedures to support and assist fleet managers. Classification Societies continue to issue Certificates of Class; one of their primary roles is in issuing certificates on behalf of the Flag State. And so too the UK MOD sees it necessary to maintain ultimate control, it has achieved this through constructing a regulatory regime in which it is accepted that the Certificate of Class is a constituent component of the body of evidence submitted to support the request for the issue of a key hazard certification, these are issued by the MOD Naval Authority.

Outline of Naval Ship Classification

In a similar manner to merchant ship practice, Naval Class may be regarded as the development and implementation of published rules and regulations. These rules, in conjunction with proper care and conduct on the part of the owner, will provide for:

• The structural strength and the watertight integrity of all essential parts of the hull and its appendages. This includes compliance with a suitable stability standard, accepted by LR.

• The operation and functioning of machinery and related systems installed for operational requirements relating to the type of ship.

• The benefit of other defined features and systems which have been built into the ship in order to establish and maintain basic conditions on board whereby appropriate stores, fuels, equipment and personnel can be safely taken to sea, placed at anchor, or moored in harbour.

As is common practice with a merchant ship, LR will maintain these provisions by way of design appraisal, survey during construction, and subsequent periodical in service visits by its Surveyors to the ship as defined in the Regulations in order to verify that the ship still complies with the Rules and Regulations. A naval ship is in Class when the Rules and Regulations which pertain to it have been complied with, or agreement equal to the Rules or robust mitigation has been ascertained. Subject to confirmatory checks, ships may also be eligible for admission and continuation in Class even though they may not have originally been built to Class. Where agreed, Naval Ship Classification will also allow for the safety and reliability of propulsion, steering and other essential auxiliary engineering systems (e.g. the arrangements for lifting appliances, moveable ramps, bow/stern doors, masts, seatings, flight decks, etc.).


The Naval Ship Rules will give notations to specific features of a naval ship. Notations notify the owner and surveyor which specific features on the ship have been approved and are subject to scrutiny. Some of these notations are mandatory and some optional. Tables 1 & 2 below show the notations available for naval ships.

Mandatory Notations - Ship Types and Service (Sea) Areas

Ship type notations and service area notations have been introduced to distinguish between different types of naval ships and determine the areas in which they operate. The ship type notation will elicit a related set of rules for a ship and result in a set of structural scantlings appropriate to the size and operational requirement of the ship.

• NS1

Appropriate for large capital ships such as aircraft carriers or amphibious support ships.

• NS2

Appropriate for escort ships such as cruisers, frigates, destroyers or corvettes, ships that are weight sensitive and from which a high performance is demanded.

• NS3

Covers ships that have a frontline role but are not covered in the above descriptions. Typically they will be smaller specialist ships such as mine sweepers or fast patrol ships.

The service area notations will result in an appropriate set of loads being derived for a particular ship based on the sea area in which it will operate.

• SA1

Applies to ships that require operations to be conducted worldwide.

• SA2 and SA3

Apply to ships that are restricted to the temperate and tropical regions respectively.

• SA4

Applies to ships that operate within the economic exclusion zone of a country.


Allows a specific area of operation to be defined.

By selecting the right notations for a particular ship, it is possible to determine clearly and unambiguously a set of rules and loads that have been optimised for the ship and its intended area of operation.  

Table 1. - Hull, Military and Other Notations available under Naval Ships Rules

Military Distinction Notations

Recognising that the military aspects of a naval ship cannot be ignored, as they are an integral part of the ship. To assist in the development of the military aspects, LR initially drew upon the specialist expertise of the UK's Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA). DERA (now QinetiQ) as the largest organisation of its kind in Europe it possessed a wide range of skills, expertise and facilities that are appropriate for military design and operation. For more common military features, the Naval Ship Rules provide some guidance, but for extraneous features, distinct consideration is required as it is inappropriate for details to be published in publicly available literature.

The military notations allow the management system that classification offers to be applied to an area not previously covered by Class. The notations can be used to verify that the original design intent and vulnerability policy, as far as the structure is concerned, have been designed, manufactured and installed correctly, and maintained through the life of the ship. Military notations will help ensure that changes to the material state of the ship are controlled in accordance with the original design intent and will significantly improve the capability and understanding of the ship's limitations.

Notations are more prolific in Naval Class and these are important, they define the scope of Naval Class, this may be different from Navy to Navy and could conceivably be different between classes of ship for the same Navy. The notations are also used to address areas outside of traditional classification such as MARPOL and SOLAS.

Table 2. - Optional Machinery Notations available under Naval Ship Rules

Additional Standards

A naval ship project manager will base acceptance of a naval ship on his satisfaction that the safety and functional requirements have been met. At any stage, all the elements contained in these two groups (viz. safety and function) will need to have been addressed for all phases - present and future - of the ship's life. In a similar manner to merchant shipping, the classification of a ship is only one element (albeit a major element) that helps to satisfy safety requirements and hence lead to an operationally capable ship. These requirements may also include, but are not limited to, such matters as the ship's stability, life-saving appliances, pollution prevention arrangements and structural fire protection, fire detection and extinguishing arrangements as necessary. The handling of these aspects is the prerogative of the Naval Authority, but in accordance with agreed procedures, the Naval Authority may delegate assessment of any of these requirements against a suitable standard by LR. The standards will generally fall into three categories:

• Full statutory convention standards.

• Modified statutory convention standards.

• Naval standards.

Table 3. - Increasing the scope of Classification Using Notations

Basic Minimum Scope

Full Scope



Partial Machinery

+100A1 NS3 Patrol

[+] LMC







+100A1 NS3 Patrol SA3







Figure 4. Extending the Scope of Classification with Notations

The CADMID Cycle and Classification

Figure 5. The CADMID Cycle and Classification

Establishing a clear standardisation policy for the selection and application of engineering standards in a naval project is essential at the earliest stage in the CADMID cycle i.e. the Concept phase. Cost savings can be realised if projects maximise the use of commercial systems and equipment that satisfy naval and Classification requirements. This will only be achieved if the standardisation policy is clear about the role of Naval Classification and the application of appropriate Classification Rules. When specified, Naval Classification Rules will form the backbone of a safety assurance framework. Class Rules are underpinned by a raft of internationally accepted commercial standards that are suitable for the marine environment. It is on this safety assurance frame work that projects can impose Navy/ Owner/Operator military and operational requirements taken from military/defence documents (where no such commercial equivalent exists).

There are always costs associated with the implementation of Classification and standards and these need to be managed. Direct Classification costs will include the survey and inspection; indirect costs can include training and familiarisation. Particular requirements within standards may have cost implications for Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) equipment. An example of this is the requirement for low smoke and toxicity cabling in equipment on naval vessels. Such a requirement can severely restrict the procurement choices and drive cost. Many naval/defence standards have embedded standards and cross references, when these standards are called up in contract documents, without any caveat, they can drive in unexpected design requirements and costs. Experience from recent projects has shown that delays in specifying Classification requirements or clarifying standards in the early stages of a project has resulted in expected cost savings not being achieved and increased cost in later phases of the CADMID cycle.

To implement commercial standards effectively requires a clear standards policy, careful management, oversight and adequate time spent writing and checking system and equipment specifications. This skilful use of commercial standards and specification writing is a key factor in project success and has the potential to significantly reduce risk and cost overruns if undertaken with knowledge of the operational context and a thorough understanding of the standard. Not all requirements within Rules and standards will be applicable or appropriate to the proposed design solution or mode of operation of a vessel. Tailoring of Rules and standards needs to take place during the Demonstration Phase in order to select, omit, interpret or propose alternatives to requirements within Rules and standards in order to achieve an acceptable solution. Such tailoring needs to be clearly documented and deviations will require technical justification which in some cases might be quite detailed. Tailoring can also be used to increase the scope of assurance activities undertaken by the Classification Society. For example they can be tasked to review electrical load assumptions or assess against naval standards.

UK MoD Procurements in Recent Decades

The UK MOD'S last ships designed to naval standards was the Type 23 frigate back in the 1980's, all since then have been to Classification Society Rules. Against this background maintaining standards for such a small usage could not be justified. And even if the MOD could, and noting the UK's policy of placing responsibility for the engineering with industry, how could MOD engineers maintain their proficiency if they are not able to practice their skills? The answer, of course, is that it could not, and one of the main reasons for Naval Classification is not only to ensure that this expertise lives on, but is available in a far more cost effective form suited to the needs of today.

Over the past 40 years around 50 MOD ships and vessels have been designed and built to Merchant Classification and this includes all of the UK's support ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary service (which are also maintained in Class). It also includes Survey ships and other smaller patrol ships and vessels. It is not intended to catalogue all of these ships, though it may be said in passing that there could be benefit in transferring some of them from Merchant Class to Naval Class in order to provide greater flexibility in the ships' operational capabilities. For example a structural survey regime tailored to the needs and abilities of the embarked personnel and their support staffs, or the ability to deliver the information that permits a navy to take carefully managed decisions on continued deployment outside certification where the urgency of the situation demands.

In summary, the evidence from new procurement indicates clearly that much of the expertise has already passed to LR. What is needed is a constructive and open working environment with the Classification Societies to consolidate their position in supporting the Royal Navy and expand their expertise in those areas to which they have had less exposure (viz. front-line naval ships).









(F1G.4) illustrates how these three categories of standard may be applied and how a proportion of a standard, for a particular aspect, might be naval or commercial. One example of a convention that may be fully adopted is that of MARPOL 73/78 Annex 1 where it is entirely reasonable to implement all the requirements regarding the prevention of pollution by oil. Compliance with this convention would demonstrate that a naval ship has no greater risk of polluting the oceans than a commercial ship.

Safety Equipment as it is described in the international convention could not generally be fully implemented on a naval ship. However certain aspects such as life rafts, escape markings and life jackets may be appropriate, and in common with other major Classification Societies, LR have experience of applying international conventions on a regular basis. But for those parts, which are not appropriate, the equivalent arrangements will need to be agreed early in the design process. Alternatively the commercial standard may be augmented by the adoption of additional requirements or by the expanding its scope. An example is lifting appliances where LR's lifting appliance code may be used as a basis but higher safety factors specified to recognize the more onerous duties that may be required of naval lifting appliances.

A naval standard such as that for magazine safety is typically one for which there is no equivalent international convention and the naval standard would be applied in its entirety, although responsibility for verifying that standard could be delegated to a Classification Society by the Naval Authority. One of the key features required by Naval Class is a listing of the standards and documents applied to a particular ship. This will be maintained through the life of the ship so that the scope of Class is clearly defined. Responsible authorities for aspects that may overlap Class are identified, and standards identified and sourced for future surveys.

The Stages in the Life of a Ship

It is perhaps appropriate to step through the phases of a naval ship's life (F1G.5) and comment on how the Classification Society is involved.




Of equal importance is the smooth transfer of understanding and information transfer between phases; to compartmentalise the phases as has been done in the following paragraphs is all too often also the reality. The use of separate, often commercial organizations to lead on each phase seriously weakens the 'glue' between the phases, and it is through the medium of the Classification Society that this 'glue' can be introduced (or re-introduced).

Consultancy Phase

A naval ship, and especially a front-line naval ship, has a consultancy phase that is generally of far longer duration than that for a merchant ship. During this phase the navy will finalise its requirement and explore alternative material solutions. It is vitally important that the Classification Society plays a full part in this process so that they may assist in defining the scope of Classification and the appropriate notations. Also it is most important they assist in ensuring that the design issues have been fully addressed prior to placing the main design and build contract, where time is at the premium and changes are expensive. The full involvement of the Classification Society also establishes the in-service requirements at a time when it is all too easy to overlook them. In the authors' view there are considerable benefits in selecting the Classification Society during this phase. It is the Navy, which will have the long-term through-life relationship with the Society, and to leave the selection to a designer or builder with only a transitory interest is a practice that cannot be condoned.

Design (Design Appraisal) Phase

This important phase will proceed far more smoothly if the Society has been involved during the consultancy phase. The design is assessed against the selected notations and appropriate arrangements are put in hand to verify the more advanced military distinction notations specified (e.g. by the engagement of specialists such as a Defence Research Authority). The Navy may also specify a design appraisal report in which the design assumptions and margins are specified so as to have representative information readily available to permit balanced decisions to be made on in-service deployments and future modernization.

New Construction (Survey) Phase

Following the appraisal of the design and the identification of applicable standards, the hull and machinery is surveyed during construction at the shipyard's or sub contractor's premises to ensure that the ship and machinery are built in accordance with the approved designs and that the materials and workmanship are satisfactory. Continuity is important, and the Society's surveyors, backed up by the design appraisal surveyors, are well placed to provide this continuity not only between phases but also between build facilities. Typically new construction surveys will require inspection of the:

Builders' works and facilities.

Quality control system.

Procedures for construction, inspection and repair.

Regular inspection of the works verifies that a suitable building environment with appropriate storage areas and materials handling facilities are provided. This is in addition to regular inspection during the construction process.

To support this survey regime, LR has a network of 280 offices world-wide to ensure coverage of most equipment manufacturers and shipyards. Surveyors are on hand to discuss production faults, deviations from approved designs and assess rectification schemes, and the surveyors have access to back-up staff with specialist naval experience.

Classification and Certification

From the outset Classification is important, and this stage brings together all parts of the design and build process. It applies not only to new construction ships and existing ships entering Naval Class for the first time, but also for all ships when revalidating their classification status at renewal surveys. Classification also offers a management system so that the material state of the ship can be recorded and maintained throughout life. Where specified, the ship will be entered into LR's management database ClassDirect Live and the necessary arrangements put in place for ensuring support to the navy and the continuing adequacy of the design through life. Such systems offer a clear presentation of the material state of a ship significantly improves the understanding of the capability and limitations at any point in time so that Navies can take authoritative decisions on operational and maintenance issues. Typical features include:

A presentation of the survey regime, its periodicity, and the current survey status of each ship.

Access to comprehensive and succinct survey reports.

Control of defects and deviations though conditions of class and memoranda items.

Where a Navy has a policy of regulation by safety case and the navy so specifies, the certificate plus key supporting documents can be provided to form a part of this safety case and so avoid duplication of effort.

In-Service (survey) phase

As the ship enters service the Society will be ensuring that the maintenance schedule has been developed and the understanding and expertise from these earlier phases are recorded and brought forward to the in-service phase. A survey regime for ships in service is specified in the Regulations, and this Naval Class regime has been developed (and where appropriate) modified from the equivalent merchant ship Regulations to fulfil the following requirements:

To recognize the duties of naval ships and the training and experience of the ship and base staff.

To recognize the need for flexibility in survey programmes (including continuous survey programmes and programmes based on reliability centred maintenance techniques).

To provide information for previously Classed ships and for ships being considered for first entry into Class.

To provide management information to facilitate cost-effective and timely survey and refit planning.

The default hull survey cycle is based on six years (an Annual, Intermediate and Special (docking) Survey at six years). Subject to adequate management arrangements being in place, the Special Survey may be evenly spread out on a continuous basis over the six year survey period. This will be referred to as Continuous Survey Hull (CSH). Also permitted is the accreditation of individual Hull Officers of the Navy who are authorised to carry out selected surveys on behalf of LR. Similar arrangements exist for machinery surveys (again on a six year cycle) and include arrangements accreditation of individual Marine Engineering Officers.

SCM Notation

Screwshaft Condition Monitoring. This notation may be assigned when oil lubricated screwshaft arrangements with approved oil glands are fitted and the requirements of Ch 3,13.3 are complied with.

The in-service phase also provides the most important feedback not only to the development of Rules and Regulations but also feed-across and feedback of inspection procedures to ships of similar type. It is difficult to conceive of a better vehicle than Naval Class for ensuring this essential feedback is captured for the future.

Future Developments

The work to date has concentrated on providing a naval ship regulatory framework harmonized with the merchant ship framework. With the support of navies and defence industries, LR has also developed machinery Rules and these are now available for use. Future work will concentrate on establishing and incorporating 'statutory requirements' into Naval Class either as default requirements or as slots into which Naval Authorities can plug-in their own requirements supervised either by the Navy or by Class.

For navies which choose Naval Class, there will still be an essential role for engineers within MODS who, freed from the need to specify the standards to meet the normal environmental loads to which all ships are exposed whatever the colour of their ensign, can concentrate on the core business of military capability. But it is clear that there is a wealth of untapped expertise in each other's respective worlds, and a high priority is to continue to work together to expand the understanding throughout our respective organizations.


Concluding Remarks

Ultimately only a Naval Authority or its Navy can take respective responsibility for overall naval ship regulation and a ship's 'fitness-for-purpose', but by selecting an appropriate Class - Naval Class - the navy can be assured that it has a highly capable ship. The depth and breadth of expertise on offer, the infrastructure and the management tools to enable ships to be maintained in a safe condition with a minimum of downtime, and the commitment to engineering excellence are powerful inducements for a close relationship with the Classification Societies. And for navies with a long tradition and history but which no longer can call upon the comprehensive in-house infrastructure of former years, classification also offers the much needed 'glue' between the phases and organizations undertaking the work.

Naval Class as constructed by the authors and their organizations offers far more transparency of the capability of the ship (notably instantly accessible design and material state information) thus enabling balance of risk decisions to be made in times of operational need. By so doing the navy, backed by advisers at LR, can take charge of the situation seamlessly and speedily during times of tension and crisis.

LR shares these sentiments and is fully committed to providing the service that navies require. Naval Class offers the highest quality of service, but for those ships that do not justify the enhanced level of service that Naval Class offers, merchant class is available in the knowledge that a Society that offers Naval Class will have considerable experience of the requirements of a navy.

The authors have personally worked on the realisation of this vision of Naval Class for a combined period that now approaches ten years, and it is backed by countless thousands of hours of high-quality support from our colleagues both from our parent organizations, from the defence industries and from the world's navies. We believe Naval Class offers a very attractive route for material state management of naval ships and we look forward to the consolidation of the work and its greater expansion into those navies that see 'excellence' as their by-word for the 21st century.