US Navy’s First Repair Technology Exercise Concludes

The US Navy has concluded its first Repair Technology Exercise (REPTX)-2022 to demonstrate and evaluate various ship maintenance technologies.

REPTX was held at Naval Base Ventura County in Ventura County, California, between August 22 and September 1.

It was sponsored by the Office of Technology (05T) of the Naval Systems Engineering and Logistics Directorate of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA).

Teams from more than 60 technology companies, governments, and academic labs from around the world participated in this event.

All activities and experiments in this exercise were conducted aboard the US Navy’s decommissioned Spruance-class destroyer, also called the Self Defense Test Ship.

The latest iteration of the exercise aimed to test and see if real-world fleet maintenance and battle damage repairs can be performed on the ships while they are in operation.

Participants tested technologies to address four areas, including visualization, command and control, advanced manufacturing, and expeditionary maintenance.

NAVSEA 05T Sustainment Technology Program Manager Janice Bryant said, “It was a problem-focused event that promoted collaboration rather than competition.

“Many problems require a complex solution, and multiple participants have independent parts of that solution.”

About 20 reservists from the US Navy’s Surge Maintenance program also participated in REPTX, gaining hands-on experience using remote-controlled robotics and learning about various repair processes by watching videos in augmented reality headsets.

The activities carried out by the reservists included measuring the depth of metal waste using ultrasonic waves, untangling damaged propellers, identifying objects on the sides of the ship’s hull, and inspecting confined spaces where humans cannot reach.

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Several companies tested their unmanned aerial vehicle to identify problems such as corrosion and look for misplaced objects.

Other scenarios included the evaluation of different inspection and repair tools, ship-to-shore communication systems, as well as above and below water display devices.

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