The military aviation community and industry need to devise a strategy for re-designing a critical component of the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft, according to government’s top watchdog agency. The component at issue, known as the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS), provides support for mission planning, management of the supply chain, maintenance, and other functions. In a report issued this month, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) stated that the ALIS has been beset by a host of problems that significantly hinder the aircraft’s operational success. Among them:
* Inaccurate or missing data, which could wrongly indicate that an airworthy aircraft is unfit to fly.
* Bulky hardware, limited internet connectivity and a gap in available contractor support all pose challenges to deploying the aircraft.
* ALIS is not intuitive, awkward to navigate, and is beset by slow operation of basic functions – all of which present problems for users.
GAO called for the Defense Department to develop a performance measurement process for ALIS, and determine how these issues are affecting readiness of the F-35 fleet. The report acknowledges that DoD and industry are working to redesign ALIS.
“However, these initiatives involve differing approaches and technical and programmatic uncertainties are hindering the redesign effort,” the report stated.