F-35 logistics system to be reinvented....

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Corsair1963

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Unread post10 Mar 2020, 03:26

Deployed F-35s Raise Mission-Capable Rates, Help Form New Logistics System


March 9, 2020 | By Brian W. Everstine


Airmen and F-35s deployed to the Middle East from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, increased the jet’s mission-capable rate during combat operations while helping guide the future of the jet’s complex maintenance logistics system.

F-35s from Hill’s 4th Fighter Squadron deployed to Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, for six months last year. The jets almost instantly began conducting airstrikes while 70 percent of the fleet was able to conduct its mission, said Brig. Gen. David Abba, director of the Air Force’s F-35 Integration Office. By the end of the deployment, that rate had climbed to more than 90 percent.

The jets flew 1,300 combat sorties over about 7,300 combat hours, and employed about 150 weapons. All bombs worked as planned without aircrew errors or weapon system malfunctions.

“The numbers are pretty remarkable,” Abba said.


The squadron was able to increase the mission-capable rate with a cadre of inexperienced maintainers. Hill AFB is has more than it needs of the most junior maintainers, so that those Airmen can spread across the operational units as they hone their skills, Abba said.

“They brought a truly representative set of maintainers that finished that deployment over 90 percent,” Abba said at a Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies event in Arlington, Va.

The 4th Fighter Squadron has been replaced in theater by the 34th Fighter Squadron, which “will not be the last” F-35A deployment to the region, Abba said. The 34th’s time in the region came amid heightened tensions surrounding Iran’s attack on Americans at bases in Iraq. In response to these attacks, F-35s “were ready to respond on a moment’s notice, should the order have been given for any additional missions to be executed,” he added.

Other notable missions during the deployment included flying alongside F-15Es and firing more than 40 tons of weapons at an island held by the Islamic State group in the Euphrates River. During another mission, two F-35As flying together sensed an advanced surface-to-air missile in the distance, geolocated it, and took a radar map of it for targetable coordinates, Abba said. While the F-35s didn’t bomb the SAM, the jets offered feedback to intelligence and command-and-control personnel, he said.

On the ground, maintainers working under pressure were able to keep the jets ready for flight, despite known problems with the aircraft’s Autonomic Logistics Information System. New logistics technology, called the Operational Data Integrated Network, will replace this system. ODIN, which is expected to be delivered later this year, is built using government and industry software expertise from groups such as the Air Force’s Kessel Run software coders, Hill’s 309th Software Engineering Group, and Lockheed Martin, among others.

Abba said ODIN is being developed to meet the needs of those using the F-35 in the fight. Maintainers have long complained that ALIS is slow, which can be problematic when deployed overseas.

“What we’re focused on is … minimizing touch points to do things like accelerate combat turn times, so that we can get the aircraft back into the fight faster,” Abba said. “We don’t want the IT system supporting the aircraft to be the long pole in the tent for combat sortie generation timelines.”

That turnaround is not as much of an issue in America’s wars in the Middle East because counterinsurgency operations unfold at a slower pace. In a future fight against a great power, for which the F-35 is designed, the Air Force knows it is going to have to move faster.

“We’re going to need to generate more sorties more rapidly, with quicker turns for the airplanes, and more sorties in a day for the aircraft than we’re seeing in the Central Command area of responsibility right now,” Abba said.



https://www.airforcemag.com/deployed-f- ... cs-system/
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Unread post18 Mar 2020, 12:17

Congressional watchdog skeptical on new F-35 logistics system
16 Mar 2020 Valerie Insinna

"WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is moving forward on a redesign of the F-35’s troubled logistics system, but a congressional watchdog organization is urging the department to hammer out critical details such as the cost and technical risks associated with the new system. Earlier this year, the F-35 Joint Program Office announced that it would be doing away with the Lockheed Martin-designed Autonomic Logistics Information System, or ALIS...

...in a new report released Monday, the Government Accountability Office noted that the Department of Defense still needs to solidify the acquisition strategy and goals of ODIN. “As DOD proceeds with replacing ALIS with ODIN, it will be imperative for the department to carefully consider and assess the key technical and programmatic uncertainties discussed in this report,” the GAO stated. “These issues … are complex, and will require significant direction and leadership to resolve.”...

...Although the GAO did not finish its report until this month, it primarily based its findings on data from fiscal 2019, [what's new with the GAO always 'out of date'] meaning that the report may not take into account the F-35 program’s newest information on ODIN. [then loads of 'what ifs' best read at source]…

...“The biggest difference between ALIS and ODIN is that the government is leading the ODIN development effort, leveraging the capabilities and the contributions like Kessel Run, Lockheed Martin, the 309th [Software Maintenance Group] out at Hill [Air Force Base], bringing them together to deliver the apps and the infrastructure and the underlying data architecture that’s required,” he said, adding that the work would go to the best performer.

The first hardware for ODIN, which is set to be delivered later this year, will also help run legacy ALIS, he said. “We intend to cut over the first squadron entirely — divorcing it from legacy ALIS — in the fall of 2021, so a year later,” he said. “That deployment timeline will be contingent on the needs of the user. So we’re not going to interrupt a carrier deployment for the update.” But the transfer to ODIN is not a panacea, the GAO warned.

“Officials from the Office of the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation stressed that effectively transitioning from the current system to a future one will be particularly challenging for DOD given the need to continue sustaining the more than 400 aircraft that have already been fielded with current ALIS,” the organization stated." [flying miljets is risky]

Source: https://www.defensenews.com/air/2020/03 ... cs-system/
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Unread post18 Mar 2020, 12:35

GAO: DOD Needs to Track Data to Improve F-35 Logistics [again this complicated article best read at source]
16 Mar 2020 Rachel S. Cohen

"The F-35’s troubled Autonomic Logistics Information System has somewhat improved over the past five years, but still causes significant challenges for the Joint Strike Fighter enterprise every day, according to a new Government Accountability Office report published March 16.

The F-35 program office hopes that designing totally new hardware and software will solve the premiere fighter program’s woes. It is slated to send a plan to the Pentagon’s top acquisition official by the end of March for developing the system that will replace the faulty logistics system. A new Operational Data Integrated Network (ODIN) will start to replace ALIS by the end of the year under that plan. Officials hope ditching the problem-ridden software for a totally new set of tools will be smaller, faster, less expensive, and compatible with older data.

“Users at all five locations [studied by the GAO] stated that data processing, downloading of information, and screen navigation were generally faster than previous years,” the federal watchdog wrote. “In previous releases of ALIS, it could take several minutes to complete a simple function like a screen download. … Users also reported minor functionality improvements within certain ALIS applications, such as the Computerized Maintenance Management System, leading to reduced time required to perform actions within those applications.”...

...concerns remain, including:
• ALIS sometimes says that an aircraft should not fly, even though it shows no signs that it should be grounded, leaving military leaders to make the call about whether to fly.
• Deploying ALIS is challenging because its hardware is bulky, Internet connectivity is limited, and the system requires contractor support.
• It takes more people to support ALIS than F-35 squadrons originally thought.
• Current training doesn’t properly prepare people to use ALIS....

...One commander said that in a wartime scenario, his squadron would assume the risk posed by ALIS missing or incorrectly showing data and fly anyway.

The Pentagon’s preliminary estimate projected ALIS would cost about $17 billion, but GAO said the F-35 program office could not provide how much money has been spent on the system over the years. The report noted that three initiatives aimed at redesigning the system cost more than $73 million as of fiscal 2019....

...The Pentagon also agrees that the ODIN development strategy should be detailed enough to have a clear vision of its goals, costs, and possible pitfalls. Lockheed Martin aims to roll out ODIN’s software updates, which are rapidly deployable, more user-friendly, and offer real-time monitoring of the F-35 enterprise, incrementally. It could be fully operational by December 2022. “The department is building the strategy that will guide ODIN’s development and will include items such as key tasks, milestones and schedule, risks and opportunities, governance structure, and cost estimates,” Lord wrote in a Feb. 23 letter to the GAO....

...The federal watchdog also suggested that Congress take up legislation that would force DOD to have a way to measure ALIS’s performance that judges its actual behavior against what was expected, and to tie that performance to military user requirements.

GAO pointed out that more than five years after it recommended DOD measure those metrics to define how ALIS should be performing, the Pentagon still hasn’t followed through.

“ALIS users collectively agree that the issues with ALIS are affecting the readiness of the aircraft; however, the degree to which this is true remains unknown,” GAO wrote. “Fleet-wide mission-capability rates for the F-35 are still below the warfighter’s minimum targets, but DOD does not have a process for measuring, collecting, and tracking information on how ALIS is affecting these rates. Without such a process, DOD may not understand all of the factors behind the reduced aircraft performance, thus limiting its ability to target appropriate solutions.”"

Source: https://www.airforcemag.com/gao-dod-nee ... logistics/
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Unread post18 Mar 2020, 13:01

And the BEAT GOES ON - holymoly. AGAIN long article best read at source.
F-35 ALIS open deficiencies grow to 4,700 over past two years
18 Mar 2020 Garrett Reim

"Lockheed Martin has made several improvements to the F-35’s Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS), but the technology remains plagued by about 4,700 deficiencies. A new Government Accountability Office (GOA) review of ALIS, the F-35’s ground-based software support system, outlines the scope of problems still affecting the technology, which has long been plagued by issues. The report says 66% of outstanding deficiencies came to light in the last two years, and 22% are “Category 1’ or “Category 2” problems.

“Category 1 deficiencies are considered critical and could jeopardise safety, security or another requirement,” says the GAO’s report. “Category 2 deficiencies are those that could impede or constrain successful mission accomplishment.” The report does break out numbers of Category 1 versus Category 2 deficiencies....

...“According to pilots, maintainers, supply personnel and contractors at five US F-35 locations, ALIS is generally performing better than it was 5 years ago,” says GAO. “Specifically, users at all five locations stated that data processing, downloading of information and screen navigation were generally faster than previous years.”

That progress continues to be outweighed by a large amount of problems with ALIS. “While users at all five F-35 locations we visited said that ALIS is performing better than it was 5 years ago, they also stated that the system still posed significant challenges to day-to-day F-35 operations,” says GAO.

The government agency’s survey of facilities found seven major groups of problems remain: inaccurate or missing data, challenges deploying the system, a need for more personell[sic] than anticipated, an inefficient issue resolution process, poor user experience, immature applications and ineffective training...." [stuff is repeated from previous two articles]

Source: https://www.flightglobal.com/fixed-wing ... 45.article
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Unread post13 Aug 2020, 21:29

Pentagon Rethinks Troubled F-35 Logistics System
12 Aug 2020 Lee Hudson
Photo Caption "The Pentagon plans to replace the cumbersome F-35 Autonomic Logistics System with a new platform that is 94% lighter [WEIGHT FOR IT!]."


"The Pentagon is in the early stages of replacing the troubled Lockheed Martin F-35’s autonomous logistics system with a new, cloud-based network, and hopes to get it up and running by the end of 2022....

...The F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) plans to begin installing hardware this September that can run software from both the legacy and new systems until ODIN is deployed fully. ODIN initial delivery is planned for September 2021.

ODIN hardware is designed to have a 75% smaller footprint than the legacy system, and be approximately 94% lighter—50 lb. compared with 891 lb. Another radical difference between the two systems is F-35 prime contractor Lockheed owns ALIS development and the new network is being developed by the JPO.

The JPO is using agile software development tools that allow rapid updates and improvements like how Apple updates its iPhones, while Lockheed employs waterfall development that allows for updates every 12-18 months....

...A key complaint about ALIS was the lack of realistic operational requirements. In other words, user needs can become outdated. To address this shortcoming, the JPO partner nations agreed in January to update a requirements document for ODIN annually—if needed. Instead of crafting a rigid requirements document that will be outdated in 10 years, the new strategy calls for updating protocols based on reality, according to a program office maintenance systems expert. This strategy complies with the software acquisition policy of Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord. It calls for the users, developers and software designers to come together and produce a customer-centric design as development progresses.

The requirements document features six capability needs: deployment planning and execution; unit maintenance planning; sortie generation; sustainment readiness; information management, and ODIN support. The document also includes 43 performance measurements that the JPO will use as metrics to track ODIN development.... [then LaDeDah about who owns wot data]

...The Pentagon’s overarching goal is to drive down F-35 sustainment pricing, which is where most of a program’s cost resides. The government is still upgrading ALIS, an effort known as ALIS Next, before ODIN comes online to manage costs.

ALIS Next consists of more regular software updates, instead of the program’s current 12-18 month cycle. An updated version of ALIS, known as 3.5, is outfitted with 300 stability fixes, says F-35 Program Executive Officer Lt. Gen. Eric Fick. Air Force software developers and Lockheed Martin personnel are simultaneously continuing to issue ALIS software patches. ALIS Next provides an opportunity to reduce the amount of administrative personnel needed to support the logistics system’s operations in the field.... [sustainment costs down over time]

...Although in its infancy, ODIN is set to be the cornerstone for the next major wave of F-35 sustainment improvements over the next two years as ALIS is retired."

Source: https://aviationweek.com/defense-space/ ... ics-system
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Unread post23 Oct 2020, 20:47

Pentagon begins rolling out replacement for the F-35 system that maintainers hate the most [least love?]
23 Oct 2020 Valerie Insinna [LONG ARTICLE - old details not excerpted here]

"WASHINGTON — Last month, a U.S. Marine Corps F-35B squadron got its first taste of the new logistics system that will replace the much-maligned current system over the next two years. The from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Arizona became the first unit to receive the initial round of hardware needed to stand up the Operational Data Integrated Network, or ODIN, the F-35 Joint Program Office said in an Oct. 21 news release.

ODIN is set to supersede Lockheed Martin’s troubled Autonomic Logistics Information System, or ALIS, by December 2022, when all F-35 units will have both the new hardware and the accompanying software....

...According to the F-35 Joint Program Office, the new ODIN hardware is already demonstrating performance gains, even while paired with the latest ALIS 3.5.2.2 software release. After the new hardware was paired with the aircraft, Marine pilots conducted one test flight Sept. 29 and four flights the following day. (The release did not specify whether Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211 or 122 carried out the tests.)

The new hardware is a fraction of the size of the servers and the computing systems currently used to support ALIS, the program office said in the release. Existing ALIS servers, which can weigh more than 800 pounds, “comprise of a full person-height rack of electronics and require additional backup power modules,” making it difficult to deploy ALIS in austere environments without sacrificing capability.

Meanwhile, the ODIN hardware consists of “two transportable cases roughly the size of two pieces of carry-on luggage,” each weighing less than 70 pounds, the program office said. Tests have also shown an improvement in the speed of the ALIS software due to the new hardware, with processing times roughly cut in half compared to the legacy hardware, the program office said.

The F-35 Integrated Test Force, which conducted tests at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland from Aug. 31 to Sept. 10, found it could load data from portable devices to the main server twice as fast. All of this reduces the amount of time a maintainer is stuck waiting for information to load, cutting down on workload and potentially speeding up maintenance activities.

The program office also noted improvements that could make it easier to quickly deploy ODIN in expeditionary environments, such as “a significant reduction” in the time required to set up the system and transfer aircraft. Unlike the Lockheed-developed ALIS system, ODIN will be a cloud-native system with applications that can be regularly updated based on user feedback. The system is being designed to decrease maintainer workload and increase mission capability rates, the program office noted....

...[Lt. Gen. Eric Fick, the government’s program executive officer for the F-35] Fick also said at the time that once the first F-35 unit receives ODIN hardware in the fall, the equipment would then slowly roll out to other squadrons, one-by-one. “We’ll stand down a squadron operation unit using legacy ALIS, stand it up using hardware that can support both ALIS and ODIN,” he said. “We intend to cut over the first squadron in its entirety, divorcing it from legacy ALIS in the fall of 2021, so a year later.”..."

Source: https://www.defensenews.com/air/2020/10 ... -the-most/
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Unread post23 Oct 2020, 21:54



It's riddled with errors. She claims that ALIS dates back to the early 2000's.
The SOUs they are replacing with the 70 pound units date to 2012 for SOU v1 and 2014 for SOU v2.
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