F-35 JPO To Increase Fielding Of New Logistics System In 2022

Credit: Lockheed Martin

The F-35 Joint Program Office is hoping to pick up the pace of deploying its new logistics system in 2022 and take other steps to improve the deployability of the aircraft such as reducing the size of spare packages the jets need.

F-35 JPO executive Lt. Gen. Eric Fick said Dec. 6 that by the end of the year the office will have sent out 14 Operational Data Integrated Network (ODIN) data kits to units, with that number expected to rise over the next year. ODIN will replace the long-troubled Autonomic Logistics Information System. Maintainers have complained that ALIS is large, slow and bug-ridden.

ALIS units are 7 ft. tall, heavy and require a lot of power, Fick said. Comparatively, ODIN kits are 90% smaller and 30% less expensive, making it much easier for F-35 units to deploy. The JPO announced it was replacing ALIS with ODIN in January 2020, and expects it to improve F-35 readiness and reduce the maintenance workload. 

Beyond just the hardware, there is still work to be done, such as defining the integrated data environment and the software that will interface between the user and the system itself, Fick said. 

“I don’t have for you the dates on which additional significant milestones in that evolution will be reached,” Fick said. “But I’ll tell you what I’ve said before, which is that this is going to be an evolution and not a switch.”

To help further with the deployability of the F-35, the JPO is trying to “thin” down the deployment spares packages (DSP) that units take with them. DSPs are a supply of parts operators need to keep their aircraft flying until the F-35 supply chain can ship additional parts to the deployed location. Smaller packages are needed, especially for U.S. Air Force F-35s, as the service is undertaking a major effort for “agile combat employment”—making the footprint and manpower of a deployed unit smaller to operate from austere locations.

“We’re committed to supporting the U.S. Air Force and their agile combat employment initiatives and making sure that we’re doing what we can to support that fight,” Fick said.

Brian Everstine

Brian Everstine is the Pentagon Editor for Aviation Week, based in Washington, D.C. Before joining Aviation Week in August 2021, he covered the Pentagon for Air Force Magazine. Brian began covering defense aviation in 2011 as a reporter for Military Times.