A joint team consisting of Pratt & Whitney, Lockheed Martin, Rolls-Royce and the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) subject matter experts successfully completed the rollout of a major upgrade to the F-35’s fleet management system. All F-35 operational bases around the globe were upgraded with the latest version of the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS version 22.214.171.124), which now integrates Pratt & Whitney’s F135 propulsion system for the first time. Migrating the F135 propulsion system into ALIS marks an important next step in the evolution of the F-35 in terms of comprehensive weapon system sustainment.
This new release of ALIS automates the tracking of life-limited propulsion parts, manages squadron maintenance requirements with enhanced supply chain features and enables enhanced fault isolation, diagnostics & health trending to streamline resource management during home or deployed operations.
“Integrating propulsion into ALIS at every F-35 operational base represents a significant milestone for the F-35 program,” said Larry Breen, Associate Director, F135 ALIS Program Manager at Pratt & Whitney. “As a result of this upgrade, the men and women that support the F-35 can now manage a wide spectrum of logistics for the aircraft - including propulsion - from a single logistics system, eliminating much of the manual planning that was previously required with multiple maintenance systems. Ultimately, the integration of propulsion into ALIS will provide automated maintenance process capabilities, reducing sustainment costs and increasing aircraft availability. It is also a key enabler for condition-based maintenance, instead of cost-intensive fixed duration schedules, for this multi-role weapons system.”
ALIS serves as the information technology backbone of the F-35, capturing and analyzing condition-based data from the entire aircraft targeting preventative maintenance, prognostic health monitoring, supply chain management, flight scheduling and mission planning. For example, ALIS communicates health reporting codes, which when triggered, identify a component requiring the attention of the maintainers on the ground. ALIS also enables the pre-positioning of parts and qualified technicians, so downtime is minimized and the efficiency of flight line operations is increased.
Beginning in March 2017, cross functional contingents of more than 100 Pratt & Whitney employees partnered with subject matter experts from Lockheed Martin and the JPO to migrate propulsion at every operational base worldwide. Base migrations averaged 15 days from start to finish, and were led by Roger Neama, Larry Breen and Steve Switalski. Migration inventory teams touched nearly 200,000 propulsion assets around the world during wall-to-wall material audits. Data migration teams transitioned inventory records and component usage history into the new system, while post ‘Go-Live’ teams supported each squadron as they took their first steps processing off board engine usage data in ALIS as the official system of record.
“Successful integration of the F135 propulsion system in ALIS is a testament to the caliber and dedication of the dependable men and women at Pratt & Whitney,” said Roger Neama, Associate Director, F135 Program Manager at Pratt & Whitney. “I am extremely proud of the entire F135 propulsion migration team, which includes a wide cross section of our Military Engines employees, contractors and Rolls-Royce counterparts. They worked around the clock and made many personal sacrifices to balance each squadron’s operational needs with the delivery of new ALIS propulsion capabilities.”
Steven Switalski, F135 ALIS Technical Integration Manager at Pratt & Whitney, added: “The ability of the propulsion migration team to adapt and overcome complex technical challenges, crossing organizational and company boundaries, was truly impressive. Their willingness and ability to quickly resolve the unexpected demonstrated how important the success of this effort was to each and every one of them. The team that traveled domestically and internationally depended on support teams back home, often during late nights, weekends and across time zones for help.”
To date, propulsion migration in ALIS version 126.96.36.199 was rolled out at the following F-35 operational bases:
Future F-35 base activations will include ALIS version 188.8.131.52 or newer with propulsion already integrated. ALIS version 3.0 brings additional functionality to the front lines and is expected to be fielded later this year.