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Air Platforms

DOT&E unsure if new approaches will fix F-35’s ALIS issues

31 January 2020
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A Pentagon watchdog is skeptical that the Pentagon’s F-35 Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) placement, the Operational Data Integrated Network (ODIN), will be successful unless it is resourced properly. Source: US Air Force

Key Points

  • The Pentagon's top weapons tester is not sold that new approaches to the F-35's ALIS will fix the system
  • These include replacing ALIS with a government-owned and -managed system called ODIN

It is unclear whether the Pentagon's new approaches to fixing the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter's (JSF's) troubled Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) will sufficiently improve the system or if more resources are needed, the Pentagon's chief weapons tester said in his latest report.

These new approaches are the Operational Data Integrated Network (ODIN), which is replacing ALIS, and the US Air Force's (USAF's) Mad Hatter, which is part of the service's Kessel Run effort to improve software development and turn the USAF into a more software-focused organisation.

Robert Behler, director of operational test and evaluation (DOT&E), said in his fiscal year 2019 (FY 2019) report released on 30 January that the F-35 programme released several new versions of ALIS in 2019 that improved the system's usability. Unfortunately, these improvements did not eliminate the major problems in ALIS design and implementation and are unlikely to significantly reduce technical debt or improve the user experience. DOT&E said ALIS remains inefficient and cumbersome to use, still requires the use of numerous workarounds, retains problems with data accuracy and integrity, and requires excessive time from support personnel.

As a result, ALIS does not efficiently enable sortie generation and aircraft availability as intended. Users continue to lack confidence in ALIS functionality and stability. DOT&E suggests the programme expedite fixes to the electronic equipment logbook data because it is a major ALIS degrader, frequent source of user complaints, and is a big ALIS administrator burden.

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