The U.S. Navy remains frustrated by its inability to connect the F-35’s logistics software with the other logistics software programs it uses.

Efforts to integrate the F-35’s Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) with the Navy’s other internal logistics systems is thwarted by developer Lockheed Martin’s insistence that the software code is proprietary, said Vice Admiral Paul Grosklags in a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Navy and Marine Corps Aviation Programs on 6 March.

“It is certainly our desire and our plan to interface ALIS with the rest of our naval aviation sustainment systems, (such as) DECKPLATE, AMSRR; those types of things we use for all of our other types of aircraft,” he said in the hearing.

“One of our challenges right now, quite honestly, is the government gaining insight into the coding within ALIS. Right now much of that is held as proprietary. We have very little, limited rights and access to the data coming out of ALIS.”

The issue is contractual in nature. It is being taken up with Lockheed Martin by Vice Admiral Mathias Winter, head of the F-35 joint program office, said Grosklags. The Navy could not provide a timeline for a fix, he told the Senate committee.

Grosklags said software issues were the Achilles’ heel of the F-35 program.

“Quite honestly, the plans for follow-on development and this six month period of software releases will not be possible without the government getting additional insight from Lockheed Martin into the software development,” he said. “It’s not just about the sustainment (software). It’s about our ability to turn it, test it, and deploy it to the fleet. If we do not have that insight, it will not work.”