The F-35 Joint Program Office at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., plans to award Pratt & Whitney [RTX], the builder of the aircraft’s F135 engine, a contract early next year as part of the program’s transition from the 20-year-old Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) to the cloud-based Operational Data Integrated Network (ODIN).
The expected ALIS to ODIN transition contract “includes ensuring integration of Pratt & Whitney-developed software and processes during planning, design, and development of ODIN,” per a recent pre-solicitation notice.
The F-35 program’s transition from ALIS to ODIN may save funds, as the program looks to reduce sustainment and cost-per-flying hour costs.
While ALIS has 891 pounds of hardware, ODIN will have just 50 pounds of hardware.
Lockheed Martin has said that the F-35 program is seeking an initial operational capability for ODIN this fall, followed by full operational capability a year later.
Air Force Gen. Mark Kelly, the commander of Air Combat Command, has said that the significantly reduced logistics tail for ODIN is likely to decrease F-35 sustainment costs (Defense Daily, Feb. 26).
“One of the main things that’s of benefit…is a reduction in contractors that we need to support ODIN, as compared to ALIS,” Kelly said earlier this year. “When we deploy forward to anywhere around the globe, right now we have to take a handful of ALIS contractors that can help us work through the very complex system. ODIN requires less of those contractors. That not only makes us more affordable as far as a system, but it makes us more deployable. I’m looking forward to getting ODIN on time just as soon as we can and hoping that there’s no delays to getting to it.”
In September last year, the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) and Lockheed Martin said that they had agreed on nearly $70.6 million in expected company investments to fix faulty electronic equipment logbooks (EELs) (Defense Daily, Sept. 30, 2020). The EELs help gauge part health. DCMA and Lockheed Martin had been negotiating a possible repayment by Lockheed Martin of $183 million to $303 million of awarded federal funds to the federal government for EEL defects in ALIS.
Since 2014, the Government Accountability Office has called on DoD to establish a performance management process for the F-35’s ALIS, but to no avail.
About 1,000 parts of the 50,000 parts on the F-35 require an EEL that designates a given part as Ready-for-Issue (RFI) and able to be installed on the F-35. The EEL includes part history and remaining part service life in hours.
Air Force Lt. Gen. Eric Fick, the F-35 program executive officer, said last year that the program, in one effort to address the ALIS issues, is thinking about removing the EEL requirement for about 600 spare parts that are not safety critical nor life limited.