Case Study

Naval Synchronization Toolset Initiative

Problem Statement

The US Navy routinely cycles its F/A-18 fighter jet inventory through maintenance and modification events. The Navy also rotates the jets among different F/A-18 squadrons, and at the same time plans permanent transition from F/A-18 to F-35 as the new jets become available. This ceaseless logistical activity causes the F/A-18 program to exist in a highly complex, dynamic state of change. Meanwhile, budget and planning cycles do not always align among stakeholders, who consequently lack an authoritative baseline for use in enterprise decision-making.


SPA supports enterprise managers with state-of-the-art decision support through the Naval Synchronization Toolset (NST) process. The NST process is a powerful modeling and simulation capability that enables stakeholders to align budget and planning factors and to ask “what if” questions for maximum flexibility. Based in prescriptive analytics, the NST process forecasts optimal modification and transition schedules for a single view of long-term future readiness. Stakeholders now work from an authoritative baseline that provides ground truth for decision-making across the enterprise.

Key Accomplishments Based on NST Use

NST-based forecasting and analysis enables F/A-18 program managers to achieve significant improvement in overall performance:

  • In a volatile budget environment, NST’s prescriptive analytics capabilities provide decision makers with critical insights into the location and magnitude of future risks to aircraft readiness, allowing managers to allocate resources accurately.
  • Using NST’s insight into which jets will need more or less maintenance, the Navy saved nearly $40M in operations and maintenance funds from FY16–19 and free up over 375,000 man-hours of F/A-18 maintenance depot time.
  • Program offices use NST-based forecasts for official F/A-18 funding and budget inputs because these forecasts are data-driven, credible, and defensible.

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