AbstractLaser shock peening (LSP) is a promising technology to retard the fatigue crack propagation (FCP) in metallic lightweight structures. A multi-step simulation strategy to predict FCP in LSP-induced residual stress fields is proposed and applied. The simulation strategy involves an LSP process simulation, a transfer approach to include the plastic strains in a C(T) specimen model to calculate the residual stresses and a FCP simulation to determine the stress intensity factors. The FCP rate is finally determined via FCP equations. The validity of the simulation strategy including the crack driving quantities prediction is experimentally demonstrated by a novel ‘simulation’ approach.