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ALIS Biggest Challenge For F-35 IOC: Gen. Harrigian

Posted by Colin Clark on

F-35As at Nellis.

F-35As at Nellis.

AFA CONFERENCE: The biggest pole in the tent for the F-35A is ALIS, the autonomous parts management and maintenance system key to managing the Joint Strike Fighter program’s in the long term.

That’s the word from Maj. Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian, director of the Air Force’s F-35 integration office. Harrigian, who oversees all F-35 issues for the service, also said readiness rates for the plane are barely scrapping 60 percent,

Lee Method, who leads the Air Force work on ALIS and just retired as a colonel, sent a clear message to both Lockheed Martin and to Capitol Hill: “The ALIS software will get there and we’re going to help them get there.”

Harrigian, with a shake of his head, noted the surprising fact many parts still have to be entered by hand. That cannot help readiness rates or parts monitoring.

Harrigian noted that both Gen. Mark Welsh, Air Force chief of staff, and Deborah Lee James, Air Force secretary, “have had high level talks with Lockheed about the timeline. Let there be no doubt that we know what we need for ALIS and for Lockheed to deliver that capability.”

But about those readiness rates: “Over the last six to eight months we’ve touched 60 percent three separate times,” Harrigian told reporters. That old bugaboo, concurrency, remains a major stumbling block to readiness because modifications have to be made on planes that are supposed to be on the flight lines.

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