F-35 logistics system to be reinvented, renamed
Pentagon's chief weapon's buyer Ellen Lord said the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) would be replaced with Lockheed Martin's Operational Data Integrated Network.
A top Pentagon official has said that the computer-based logistics system of the F-35 stealth fighter jet made by Lockheed Martin, which has been plagued by delays, will be replaced by another network made by the same company.
Pentagon's chief weapon's buyer Ellen Lord said the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) would be replaced with Lockheed Martin's Operational Data Integrated Network (ODIN), which will be streamlined for efficiency "with the voice of the maintainer and the pilots at the forefront of the requirements list."
The ALIS is an off-board system that runs the maintenance and logistics system for the F-35, ranging from mission planning and flight scheduling to repairs and scheduled maintenance, as well as the tracking and ordering of parts.
Lord told Reuters outside a closed-door briefing to the US Congress that Lockheed Martin -- the F-35's prime contractor -- would work on ODIN under the current ALIS funding profile without additional cost to the taxpayer.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) had estimated that ALIS would have cost more than $16.7 billion over its multi-decade "life cycle".
ALIS was blamed for delaying aircraft maintenance, one of the very things it was meant to facilitate.
"One Air Force unit estimated that it spent the equivalent of more than 45,000 hours per year performing additional tasks and manual workarounds because ALIS was not functioning as needed," the GAO said in a November report.
By December 2022, ODIN will have replaced ALIS in all F-35s except those deployed remotely or on ships, Lord said.
John Garamendi (D-CA), Chair of the House Armed Services Committee's Readiness Subcommittee, called two years "a very tight time frame".
"We cannot wait until there is a functioning ODIN to work on the other sustainment issues with the jet," he said after Tuesday's hearing. The F-35 has drawn criticism for having a higher than hoped for cost per flying hour.
According to Lord, ODIN will be based in the cloud and designed to deliver data in near real time on aircraft and system performance under heightened cyber security provisions.
"We have heard our maintainers on the flight lines loud and clear when they say they want to spend less time on administrative maintenance on ALIS," she said.