“The brains and blood” of F-35s is not ‘critical’/working

Last summer, F-35 program officer Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan said the F-35’s logistics system was “the brains and blood of operating this weapons system.”

Despite many fixes, the aircraft’s Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) is so flawed that government auditors believe the computer system may not be deployable. These problems may also delay the Air Force’s declaration of Initial Operational Capability. And now, in a surprising twist, Bogdan is saying ALIS is not really critical after all, insisting the F-35 can fly without it for 30 days.

The plane is absolutely dependent on computer technology and millions of lines of software code to operate. So the fact that ALIS is years behind schedule and plagued with bugs is particularly disturbing. The Government Accountability Office has now released a report confirming POGO’s earlier reporting: flaws in ALIS can ground the entire fleet. …

For years, F-35 advocates have been spending the American people’s money on this elaborate logistics system, telling them the plane can’t fly without it. The DoD’s most recent estimate puts ALIS spending at $16.7 billion over the life of the F-35, though the GAO report questioned the accuracy of this estimate, noting, “a DOD-commissioned plan found that schedule slippage and functionality problems with ALIS could lead to $20–100 billion in additional costs.”

The F-35’s Computer Brain Isn’t Working