The biggest challenge on the road to the Air Force declaring F-35 initial operational capability is the delivery of the ALIS (Autonomic Logistics Information System) software, Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, director of the Air Force’s F-35 integration office, said Monday at ASC15. Still, the Air Force isn’t backing off any of the capability requirements for IOC, he said. The software in the field right now is version 2.0.1, and the Air Force needs 2.0.2 to operationalize the planes and meet IOC requirements, said Leigh Method, Harrison’s deputy and senior advisor. ALIS, a suite of applications, covers everything from maintenance to training, flying to mission planning, she said. “It’s the timing of our software for ALIS that we’re most concerned about,” Harrigian said. “It’s crystal clear what we need for 2.0.2.,” and Lockheed Martin and the joint program office are working to deliver that, he said.
Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) seems increasingly likely.