Navy still eyeing CHAMP, but not ruling out single-mission ship designs

By Justin Katz / October 19, 2018 at 10:56 AM

ANNAPOLIS, MD -- Early findings from the Navy's studies on a common hull for five unique missions are driving the service to reconsider its requirements to avoid "predisposition" toward an answer, according to two Navy officers responsible for strategic sealift.

In a September request for information, the Navy said it "remains interested" in the development of a common hull auxiliary multi-mission platform -- dubbed CHAMP -- but is revising the base ship characteristics by mission to permit "purpose built, non-reconfigurable single mission concepts."

"What we've figured out is that mission set is very broad," Capt. Scot Searles, strategic sealift and theater sealift program manager, said at an expeditionary warfare conference here. The missions the Navy wants CHAMP to address include strategic sealift, aviation intermediate maintenance support, medical services, command and control and submarine tending.

"We have some early returns from some of the investigations we've done so far that [say] a single hull doesn't make sense, and so we want to make sure we're investigating and not trying to predisposition the answer," Searles said.

Rear Adm. William Galinis, program executive officer for ships, said information coming from a requirements evaluation team for CHAMP suggested a single hull form for all five missions "may not make sense."

"It's still a concept that is very much evolving," he added.