To reduce F-35 sustainment cost, focus on agile software
Predictive maintenance could significantly drive down sustainment costs –
“If the Pentagon wants to decrease F-35 sustainment costs, it needs to make sure it gets its new software modernization strategy right”, Will Roper, the Air Force’s acquisition executive said, pushing innovative new uses of existing tech.
“A lot of the sustainment challenges would be solved if you do the software correctly, because the predictive maintenance happens via software,” he said. “The supply chain management happens via software. So it’s kind of like if you could solve this one thing, the dominoes would fall over and the world would be better.”
“If we’re worried about sustainment, and we are, some things on the maintenance side of the house would be good places to begin. Things like ALIS [Autonomic Logistics Information System, the F-35’s sustainment system] or the mission data files are things we can work on to prove to ourselves that we really can do this drop of software every couple weeks or couple of months and sustain that over time.”
Improving ALIS would be no easy task.
The Lockheed Martin-designed system was devised to allow operators to do mission planning, order spare parts, do after action reviews, walk maintainers through repair jobs and store all the plane’s technical data. BB
Lockheed Martin’s next iteration of the F-35’s Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) has been approved for installation at U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy F-35 sites. Along with a number of improvements to the system’s baseline, the upgrade delivers significant enhancements for managing forward operations and sustainment. ALIS is the F-35’s fleet management system, reducing the cost of operations and maintenance while increasing aircraft availability. After successful flight testing, upgraded ALIS software – called version 2.0.2 – will be installed at all operational F-35 sites by the end of 2017. The upgrade has performed well in supporting F-35 operations at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, since March 22. ALIS 2.0.2 now integrates propulsion data, which allows users to manage the F-35 engine from inside ALIS, eliminating the need for multiple maintenance systems and field service representatives to assist with engine diagnostics, analysis and maintenance. ALIS 2.0.2 improves the tracking of life-limited parts and streamlines resource management for deployed operations.
Sources – LM, www.defensenews.com (Valerie Insinna)