We consider survivability as a fundamental measure defining the ship's performance when subject to any unforeseen hazard, e.g. explosions, fires, etc. In this sense, the scope is remarkably wider than the classical definition of warship's survivability.
Ship's survivability is a complicated subject which affects the whole life cycle of the vessel, and should therefore be considered from the initial design phase of every ship. With this in mind during the design it is possible to save lives at sea and keep vessel operational in more hazardous environments.
With combat survivability we mean ship's ability to remain functional after sustaining a hit. It is a crucial aspect that must be taken into account when designing ships that are sent to harms way in a fleet operating in hazardous battle conditions. However, combat survivability assessment is currently done as a separate process from the actual design work, which does not efficiently give feedback to the designer.
Also, combat survivability depends on a large combination of complicated phenomena. The different aspects related to thorough combat survivability assessment are usually considered as individual features and they are analyzed using separate tools which often require laborious work on several computer models. The need to set up and update these models after every design change leads to lot of work but also makes the process exposed to mistakes.
In order to integrate the combat survivability assessment as a natural part of the iterative ship design process we have developed Survivability Manager Application, called SURMA. It is the first comprehensive software tool for naval combat survivability assessment. With SURMA the designer can evaluate the combat survivability level after any design change or against other vessel concepts.
Essential in our approach is the fact that the actual product model used by the design office is the basis for every part of the assessment. This enables savings in the amount of required work, but gives also the possibility to end up with better operational capability, hence more survivable ships.