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Ship Maintenance

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Fleet operations in Aurora require some logistics. Military ships may suffer from maintenance failures and you'll need to periodically send your ships in for overhauling, to prevent them from falling apart.

Maintenance and Overhauls are optional rules, they may be turned off completely via an option in the Game Info window on the right at the bottom of the list of options named "No Overhauls Needed".

For information about emergency battle repairs, see Damage Control.

Maintenance Failure

Military ships require a lot of regular maintenance to stay ready for action. The more complex your ship, the more chance it will suffer from maintenance failures. When a ship suffers a maintenance failure, it will use up maintenance supplies (MSP) equal to the cost of the affected system in order to prevent the failure. If insufficient MSP are available the affected system will be destroyed and cease operation. If this is something vital such as a jump engine, the ship could be stuck a long way from home. Once destroyed, a system can be fixed by damage control but the cost in MSP is doubled. Damaged systems can also be repaired by a shipyard.

Accounting for maintenance failures is important part of ship design, especially for ships intended for extremely long operations in space. A Class Design includes a line like:

Maint Life 3.62 Years     MSP 637    AFR 108%    IFR 1.5%    1YR 75    5YR 1128    Max Repair 120 MSP

Maint Life is an estimate of how long the ship's stock of maintenance supplies is likely to last. You can extend that by adding Engineering Sections to the ship class during ship design to reduce malfunctions, and/or Maintenance Storage Bay to carry more supplies. You'll see drop in the Annual Failure Rate (AFR) which is the annual chance of a system failure, and the Incremental Failure Rate (IFR), which is the chance of a system failure in any given 5-day increment (which is when maintenance checks take place). These values shown on a class summary assume a ship has one year on its maintenance clock. On individual Ship Summaries F6, the Annual Failure Rate and IFR will be based on the ship's actual maintenance clock.

If you want to know exactly how it's calculated, see Ship Maintenance Details.

Maintenance Supplies, aka spare parts

Maintenance Supplies are produced by maintenance facilities. They are used up to fix maintenance failures and combat damage. Ships in orbit of colony with sufficient maintenance facilities or undergoing overhauls will consume maintenance supply points from the colony and suffer no maintenance failures. If a colony has maintenance facilities but no maintenance supplies, ships in orbit will draw maintenance supplies from any designated supply ship in the same location. Supply ships can be flagged using the existing 'Supply Ship' flag in the Class window. If no supply ships are available, ships will draw on their own maintenance supplies.

Example: A planet has 25 Maintenance Facilities, giving it the capacity to handle all maintenance for an unlimited number of ships up to 5,000 tons in size. They would not do any work on a ship of 5,100 tons, however.

Maintenance Facilities use a small amount of minerals to keep your ships in shape. The exact amount, as an estimated annual figure based on the ships currently in orbit, can be seen on the Mining/Maintenance tab of the Population/Production window.

If you are confused

  • Engineering Sections carry Maintenance Supplies (i.e. spare parts), which are built by ordinary factories. They are used up to automatically repair malfunctions - not battle damage - while the ship is in space.
  • Maintenance Facilities are installations using minerals to maintain ships on a planet (i.e. workshops). They do not use or produce Maintenance Supplies.

A fleet base should therefore have:

  • sufficient Maintenance Facilities to maintain the largest ships you want to base there,
  • access to minerals,
  • enough Maintenance Supplies stored to resupply ships for their next mission,
  • and optionally, some factories to produce Maintenance Supplies.

Maintenance Clock and Overhaul

Each ship has a maintenance clock, which counts the time since the ship has left port (its last time in a dockyard with sufficient maintenance facilities). Once a ship gets past a certain age, the probability of a breakdown increases, and it starts costing more MSP to maintain. In other words, if you keep a ship that wasn't intended for extremely long operations in space, it will literally fall apart. Ships in orbit of a colony with sufficient maintenance facilities, do not run their clocks. Thus, keeping your ships at a fleet base is a good way to keep them well-maintained.

TIP:If your clock is going up while at colony, it means your maintenance facilities are not large enough to accommodate that ship. Expand your maintenance facilities and it'll stop going up.

If a ship is on a long deployment and runs up its maintenance clock, you can put it into overhaul on a base with maintenance facilities (dockyard) large enough for the ship's tonnage. Overhauls unwinds this clock. One month in overhaul reverses three months of age. Overhauling requires minerals based on the ship size, components, and the maintenance clock. Note there's a time penalty if you want to abort the overhaul early. The maintenance clock is also reduced when ships are repaired, based on the percentage of their build cost that is involved in new components provided by the repair.

Once your deployment is brought back to 0 and you're able to get going again as if new. In lore, these are maintenance things that couldn't be done on-ship, such as scrubbing out the engine manifolds, re calibrating the sensors, replacing the worn hinges on bulkheads, replacing the floor panels as feet have scuffed them up, and whatever else wouldn't be normal maintenance.


  • Hangars - A ship (or FAC or fighter) in a hangar does not roll for malfunction, need Maintenance Facilities or use supplies. For purposes of maintenance, it is effectively "mothballed". To save minerals, you might consider building PDCs with large hangar spaces and store your unused ships there.