(Newswire.net -- April 16, 2015) -- The House Armed Services subcommittee has been told that multirole F-35 fighter, which among others is set to replace A-10, gives false-positive readings 80 percent of the time. That means that most of the time the 'super-jet' tells maintenance software that it is in perfect operational condition, even when it’s not.
The F-35’s Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS), a next-generation software system designed by Lockheed Martin to identify maintenance issues, is plagued with problems and could delay development.
“ALIS has a long way to go,” Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan told the subcommittee on Tuesday.
“We have taken steps in the last two years to change fundamentally the way we develop ALIS, but it takes time to realize those results,” Bogdan said, the Airforce Times reported.
It is not clear, however, if the diagnostic and maintenance software is to blame for misreading the data, or whether the F-35 ‘lies’, as Bogdan said. The maintenance software is reportedly a supplemental add-on and not a central part of the plane.
When asked by Chairman Turner about the false-positive readings, Bogdan said he would look into the numbers. According to Investor’s Business Daily, subcommittee chair, Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), said he expected a high number of false-positives. “But when they said 80, I was taken aback,” he said.
The ALIS software, which includes 5 million lines of code, has been called the F-35’s “brains,” by its developers. It supposed to run a full diagnostic of the aircraft, identify what is wrong and what is working on the jet, and provide information on identifying replacement parts.
On its website, US Government Accountability Office reported that F-35—Joint Strike Fighter program is still work in progress. The results so far, however, shows that the program has “continued to experience development and testing discoveries over the past year, largely due to a structural failure of the F-35B durability test aircraft, an engine failure, and more test point growth due to software challenges than expected.”
In its report, GAO stated that “together, these factors have resulted in delays to the program’s test schedule. In addition, the F-35 engine reliability is not improving as expected and will take additional time and resources to achieve reliability goals.”
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