Service Life Extension Programs (SLEP) are defined in cooperation with the customer.
The subjects of discussion are the need for Navigation improvement, Force Communication, Mission Planning, Awareness Improvement, War Fighting, Force Protection and Logistics.
Most SLEP programs are combined with overhaul of systems that do not need replacement.
The reason for a SLEP can be manifold:
- To accommodate a shift of the operational requirements
- To relief an upcoming block-obsolescence in the fleet
- To benefit from operational improvement, reduction of training and maintenance
For Navigation, compliance to the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) and Electronic charts are highly advised.
The Communication capability in many cases needs extension for bandwidth, improvement of data link and IFF Mode S/5.
Sensors are adapted towards the growth in air and surface traffic and small object detection.
Modern information systems are able to handle a much larger through-put, offer operator task automation and enable integration of cooperative target recognition with AIS for ships and ADS-B for aircraft.
Weapon overhaul, inclusion of new gun ammunition or weapon migration (e.g.. from NSSM to ESSM) is often accompanied by adding small remotely controlled arms for Force Protection.
The logistic aspects for (re-)training, maintenance and spares complete the SLEP.