A New Kind of Flight Simulation
The modelling and simulation team at RAF Coningsby are using a twenty first century crystal ball to help predict the future state of the RAF’s Typhoon fleet.
About the availability contract
The Typhoon Availability Service (TAS) is a complex contract covering aircraft maintenance, technical support, training and asset management to support Typhoon operations. Each service element interacts, influences and is, in turn, influenced by the others.
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A computer game
So to help the project joint management team assess maintenance needs for the Typhoon, the Modelling and Simulation team have deployed an Integrated Typhoon Availability Service Performance Simulation (TPS) toolset.
“The TPS is basically a computer game. We input a series of scenarios into the simulation software and it predicts an outcome. The software is very much like a football manager game, you pick the players, the formation and the style of football, and then you get an outcome. If you change any element of this, you’re going to get a different outcome each time you make a change.” explains Geoff Pickering, Head of Simulation and Modelling.
So what are some of the scenarios? A couple of examples would be the impact of taking 10 Typhoons overseas for an exercise, or deploying a number of Typhoons on operations in somewhere like Libya. These sorts of scenarios can be loaded into the TPS which will then predict the effects they would have on the rest of the TAS contract.
What are the benefits?
Being able to predict the future is great, but what are the benefits?
“Through being able to make quantifiable decisions, our ability to boost service and improve operational readiness has increased significantly,” comments Geoff Pickering.
“A good example of this can be seen in the redesign of our support solution at RAF Leuchars, which lowered the expected operation costs while still maintaining the same level of service. The MoD and BAE Systems have already identified circa £2billion in through life cost saving opportunities across the programme. Predictive simulation allows the team to view projections of the service as it stands at any given time, how changes impact revenue, cost and ultimately operational achievement.”
Setting accurate performance levels
By enabling us to use data to make better decisions, both tactically and longer term, predictive simulation has helped to set accurate performance levels for the MoD contract. The repeated use of simulation analysis has led to better decision making, which in turn has increased confidence in the Typhoon Availability Service and enhanced its reputation throughout its internal and customer stakeholders.
Transferring best practise
With such tangible value already seen by the business, we have integrated the predictive simulation best practices, taken from the TAS TPS team, into its Life Cycle Management process. By ensuring our other defence platforms and lines of business use predictive simulation to manage performance risks and pass on costs savings, we are able to move closer to our customers and further differentiate us from our competition.
Source : BAE Systems