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Case Studies

Navy Defense: Model Based Management of Configurations of a Complex Systems

MBSE Solution for Lockheed Martin


lockheed martin logoA Common Combat System deployed across multiple fleets is comprised of 59 different variants installed across Royal Australian Navy Collins class submarines and 71 US Navy submarines from six distinct submarine classes including: USN: Los Angeles (SSN 688), Ohio (SSGN 726), Seawolf (SSN 21), Virginia (SSN 774).

SWFTS program provides parallel management of external interfaces to the combat system and internal interfaces between subsystems within the combat system. In addition, to the complexity of configuration management, the SWFTS model is large. The combat system includes approximately:

  • 35 subsystems from over 20 program offices,
  • 2,500 interface requirements,
  • 100 services,
  • 3,700 model elements for interfaces,
  • More than 15,000 relationships between model elements,
  • 500,000 model elements.

The scope of the SWFTS systems engineering efforts have increased over time with more parallel changes, more concurrent baselines, thus increasing the Engineering workload.

To handle complexity, increase productivity, and save costs, MBSE was adopted to manage SWFTS configurations. MBSE has been adopted for US NAVY submarines combat systems software and hardware configurations management.

The key issue in applying MBSE was efficiently representing system variation to the systems engineering of product families. This is important both to minimize duplicative data to be maintained and synchronized within the system models, and to minimize the conceptual complexity of the system model.

About Lockheed Martin (LMCO)

Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 116,000 people worldwide. The majority of its business is with the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. federal government agencies. It is the largest provider of IT services, systems integration, and training to the U.S. Government.

About Submarine Warfare Federated Tactical System (SWFTS)

SWFTS manages combat subsystem Interfaces and combat system I&T. This includes the logical network configuration data (e.g. IP addresses, protocols, node characteristics) and the data exchanges including requirements levied on subsystems for data origination and receipt, data types, protocols and more. It combines multiple subsystems from Multiple Program Offices and Vendors.


In order to manage growth, complexity, and demand for resources of mission critical systems, LMCO has transitioned to using MBSE large scale. The transition was very successful; but it also required adopting best practices along the way. MagicDraw provides real–life project capabilities (i.e. Smart packages) out of the box, which will provide further productivity and quality gains supporting configuration management approach.

To handle the task of dozens of product configurations managed in parallel, with many of those baselines being updated several times a year, LMCO developed a new SysML modeling technique.

It extends the concepts of libraries with SysML Catalogs to bound the complexity of the configuration task, improving the quality and efficiency of the systems engineering process. Catalogs frame alternative views of the model for the engineer. Usage of catalogs gives ability to utilize the catalog as an active filter of the model:

  • Reduces the scope of the library without duplicating the elements.
  • Provides utilization assessments for elements across multiple baselines and baseline configurations.

As shown in the figure, the approved subset of servers from the list of all servers is imported into a catalog for a specific baseline (TI10 or TI12 in the example). Similarly, these catalogs are populated with other hardware components approved for those baselines. Each catalog restricts the scope of the configuration to those components approved for the specific baseline.

Efficient management of the product configuration process is a challenge in the evolution of any industrial scale product family. The standards themselves are not addressing this problem in a scalable fashion. In addition, existing UML/SysML modeling tool support for variation points was vital.


  • Manage the complexity faced by systems engineers
  • Manage high variability between platforms
  • Maximize reuse between baselines
  • Improve the quality and efficiency of the baseline configuration process


  • Adopt MBSE to enable a more efficient system engineering process
  • Provide intuitive MBSE tools to enable engineers to develop complex systems with maximum reuse
  • Efficient management of the product configuration process in any industrial scale product family


  • Usage of MBSE found bugs in previous baselines.
  • 13% Savings between SE and MBSE:
    • 25% in capability definition,
    • Another 10% over DOORS in baseline management
  • Savings seen in 4th Year:
    • 2 years to implement model,
    • 1 year transition overlap with current process


  • MBSE applied to an existing system achieved greater productivity and improved quality of existing program
  • Hierarchy of models supporting TEAM SUBMARINE engineering
  • Reduced duplication and inconsistency of element definitions
  • Developed libraries and catalogs to improve the quality and efficiency of the baseline configuration process