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6 Asia Pacific Defence Reporter MAY 2017
LOCKHEED MARTIN DELIVERS
NEW CAPABILITIES FOR F-35
ORLANDO, Fla., April 26, 2017 –
Lockheed Martin's next iteration of the F-35's
Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS)
has been approved for installation at US Air Force
and US Navy F-35 sites. Along with a number of
improvements to the system's baseline, the upgrade
delivers significant enhancements for managing
forward operations and sustainment.
ALIS is the F-35's fleet management system,
reducing the cost of operations and maintenance
while increasing aircraft availability. After successful
flight testing, upgraded ALIS software – called version
2.0 .2 – will be installed at all operational F-35 sites
by the end of 2017. The upgrade has performed well
in supporting F-35 operations at Nellis Air Force Base,
Nevada, since March 22.
ALIS 2.0.2 now integrates propulsion data,
which allows users to manage the F-35 engine
from inside ALIS, eliminating the need for
multiple maintenance systems and field service
representatives to assist with engine diagnostics,
analysis and maintenance. ALIS 2.0.2 improves
the tracking of life-limited parts and streamlines
resource management for deployed operations.
"This upgrade will allow deploying units to predict
'what if' scenarios inside ALIS, removing most of the
manual planning that is done today," said Reeves
Valentine, vice president of F-35 Logistics. "ALIS 2.0 .2
will allow users to forecast and make those decisions.
Picking the best jets, support equipment, spare parts
and personnel for the deployment and managing
resources throughout their lifecycle – that type of data
should ultimately translate to better aircraft availability."
The updated software also includes a networking
feature to more easily establish connections between
deployed locations and home stations. This upgrade
offers parent units more versatility in managing the
logistics "tail" – the chain of supplies and spares – for
a deployed squadron.
As the IT backbone of the F-35, ALIS integrates
preventative maintenance, flight scheduling and the
mission planning system. Pilots plan and debrief
missions, and maintenance professionals sustain the
F-35 using ALIS.
Approval for fleet-wide fielding to F-35 sites
for the US Marine Corps is expected in the next
six weeks. The US Marine Corps and US Air Force
declared F-35 initial operating capability (IOC) in
2015 and 2016 respectively, and the US Navy is
set to declare IOC in 2018. ALIS is operating at
more than 20 locations and has supported more
than 90,000 F-35 flight hours.
BOEING KC-46A TANKER JOINS
FLIGHT TEST PROGRAM
– EVERETT, Wash., May 2, 2017 –
Boeing now has six aircraft in its KC-46 tanker test
program, expanding its ability to complete ground
and flight-test activities as it progresses toward first
deliveries to the US Air Force.
The newest KC-46 aerial refuelling aircraft,
the second low-rate initial production plane,
completed its first flight April 29. Its test activities
will help ensure the KC-46 can safely operate
through electromagnetic fields produced by
radars, radio towers and other systems.
“Adding another tanker will help us to become
even more efficient and significantly improve our
ability to complete test points going forward,” said
Jeanette Croppi, Boeing KC-46A tanker test team
director. “We are also re-configuring one of our
767-2C aircraft into a tanker, which means we
soon will have four KC-46 tankers in test.”
“This first flight is another important step for
the KC-46 program toward verifying the aircraft’s
operational capabilities,” said Col. John Newberry,
Air Force KC-46 System program manager. "Adding
this aircraft brings key capabilities to the test fleet
and helps move us closer to delivering operational
aircraft to the warfighter."
To date, the program’s test aircraft have
completed 1,600 flight hours and more than
1,200 “contacts” during refueling flights with F-16,
F/A-18, AV-8B, C-17, A-10 and KC-10 aircraft.
The KC-46 is derived from Boeing’s commercial
767 airframe. The company expects to build 179
tankers in its Everett factory.
The KC-46A is a multirole tanker that can refuel
all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible
with international aerial refueling procedures and
can carry passengers, cargo and patients.
A maintainer using ALIS alongside an F-35.
Credit: Lockheed Martin
The latest KC-46 Tanker
4/05/2017 3:15 PM
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