Lockheed Martin delivers new capabilities for F-35 logistics system
Lockheed Martin's next iteration of the F-35's Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) has been approved for installation at US Air Force and US 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.
"This upgrade will allow deploying units to predict 'what if' scenarios inside ALIS, removing most of the manual planning that is done today," said Reeves Valentine, vice president of F-35 Logistics. "ALIS 2.0.2 will allow users to forecast and make those decisions. Picking the best jets, support equipment, spare parts and personnel for the deployment and managing resources throughout their lifecycle – that type of data should ultimately translate to better aircraft availability."
The updated software also includes a networking feature to more easily establish connections between deployed locations and home stations. This upgrade offers parent units more versatility in managing the logistics "tail" – the chain of supplies and spares – for a deployed squadron.
As the IT backbone of the F-35, ALIS integrates preventative maintenance, flight scheduling and the mission planning system. Pilots plan and debrief missions, and maintenance professionals sustain the F-35 using ALIS.
Approval for fleet-wide fielding to F-35 sites for the U.S. Marine Corps is expected in the next six weeks. The U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Air Force declared F-35 initial operating capability (IOC) in 2015 and 2016 respectively, and the U.S. Navy is set to declare IOC in 2018. ALIS is operating at more than 20 locations and has supported more than 90,000 F-35 flight hours.