Defense officials vow action on important F-35 system

Posted at 10:35 AM, Nov 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-20 16:49:53-05

WASHINGTON, D.C. - As the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter continues to reach readiness milestones across the military branches, a critical IT component is still not working as designed.

There are three variants of the F-35 Lightning II for the Department of Defense. The Air Force is using the F-35A, the Marine Corps has the F-35B, and the Navy is incorporating the F-35C.

All the variants are supposed to include the Autonomic Logistics Information System, better known as ALIS. Described as the "IT backbone" of the F-35, it is designed to analyze how the jet performs using sensors throughout the platform.

As designed, ALIS is supposed to be able to identify parts that need to be replaced and automatically order them.

"Sadly, as presently constituted, ALIS is not delivering the capabilities the warfighter needs," Ellen Lord,Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, said in a House Armed Services joint subcommittee hearing last week. "The Department is progressing towards a future ALIS developed and sustained utilizing agile software development techniques designed to rapidly deliver flexible applications on a modern, secure architecture."

Members of the joint subcommittees were told that a 'detailed' plan was underway to fix issues with ALIS and that significant progress was expected by fall of 2020.