Jet-engine builder Pratt & Whitney reported that a team of subject matter experts completed an upgrade to F-35 Lightning II fleet-management system at 12 sites around the world, implementing automated tracking of life-limited propulsion parts for the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. All of the operational bases where the JSF aircraft are deployed are updated to the latest version of the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS version 188.8.131.52), which integrates the Pratt & Whitney’s F135 propulsion system for the first time.
Pratt & Whitney’s F135 is the turbofan power source for single-engine Joint Strike Fighter, and supplied in three different models according to the F-35 variant.
The ALIS is the information technology network coordinating the F-35 fleet and program. It collects and analyzes condition-based data from the aircraft for preventative maintenance, prognostic health monitoring, supply chain management, flight scheduling and mission planning. It also makes possible “pre-positioning” of parts and qualified technicians, so as to minimize downtime and operational efficiency.
The update to the ALIS began in March 2017, with cross-functional teams of SMEs from Pratt & Whitney and other F-35 program suppliers working to migrate the propulsion systems to the ALIS, at every operational base worldwide.
The jets now in service are assigned to five U.S. Air Force bases, four U.S. Marine Corps air stations, a U.S. Navy naval air station, and air bases for two of the F-35 program partners.
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, according to Pratt & Whitney.
Lockheed Martin, the aircraft builder, and Rolls-Royce, which developed the Rolls-Royce LiftSystem in use for the F-35B short-takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the JSF, and the F-35 Joint Program Office also participating in the roll-out.
“Integrating propulsion into ALIS at every F-35 operational base represents a significant milestone for the F-35 program,” stated Pratt & Whitney’s Larry Breen, associate director for the F135 ALIS Program Manager. “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.”