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Arika S

Worried about your Computer trying to "phone home"? Enter Lockheed Martin's F-35 L2

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Posted · Original PosterOP

The meme that is the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is in the news again for another controversy. Get ready for a long thread

The F-35 has enjoyed such issues as

 

  • Random spikes in cabin pressure that cause the pilots serve ear and sinus pains
  • Tires blowing out upon landing and completely cutting both brake hydraulic lines forcing the pilot to rely on airbrakes and emergency arresting cables
  • Being $163 Billion over budget and 7 years behind schedule
  • When flying to fast (you know, that thing that fighter jets normally do) it can snap of antenna and cause the stealth coating to bubble and blister making it no longer....stealthy
  • Helmet mounted Night vision becoming wobbly making it difficult to land at night....sometimes on carriers

 

So what's happened now? ALIS, the Advanced Logistics Information System.

Quote

The ALIS is designed by Lockheed Martin to coordinate worldwide F-35 issues, repairs, and spare parts, collecting data from every jet worldwide

While the primary intention is for LM to gather data to find any (more) potential issues that might be affecting their entire production run, it comes with the caveat that the collected data comes back to Lockheed Martin and the US Department of Defense for analysis. After all they need to ensure that their most expensive project to date is going to live up to their claims. ALIS helps technicians keep tabs on the aircraft and warn the maintenance crew if something is off and needs to be investigated further or outright replaced, removing a lot of the need for full manual inspections. It's all about efficiency

 

Quote

Both the F-35 Joint Program Office and Lockheed use the data collected by the planes to analyze the health of the aircraft and gauge when maintenance is needed. Without it, foreign militaries could be required to perform extra inspections or work on the plane to mitigate additional safety risks. It would also hinder Lockheed’s ability to provide spare parts when needed, making it more likely that jets would be stuck on the ramp.

 

 

Quote

ALIS is used by F-35 operators in virtually all stages of flying and sustaining the Joint Strike Fighter. The system is used to plan and debrief missions, order spare parts, walk maintainers through repairs, and view technical data and work orders.

Quote

Foreign customers of the jet complained ALIS phones home data that could be used to keep tabs on their operations. The issue was reportedly serious enough that two foreign operators threatened to walk away from the entire F-35 program unless the problem is fixed. The Department of Defense and Lockheed Martin are reportedly working on a fix that addresses sovereign data issues, Defense News reported.

So what does this data contain? Well for ALIS to know when things need to be looked into buy a human mechanic or to alert operators to order replacements, some sources have claimed ALIS is reporting

  • Flight times
  • GPS Data
  • Loadout information
  • Fuel consumption
  • Work orders
  • Downtime

which makes sense, until you remember that all this information is being transmitted back through ALIS to Lockheed Martin and therefore the DoD and the F-35 program heads

 

Quote

But some partners on the F-35 program worried that data flowing through ALIS to the United States — and to Lockheed Martin — could give both the U.S. military and the American defense contractor a window into that country’s flight operations, including when and where its F-35s are flying.

Although several foreign F-35 customers have publicly discussed concerns about sovereign data moving through ALIS, this report marks the first time it has been disclosed that those concerns were so severe that multiple countries threatened to withdraw from the program.

“[Two-plus] countries have threatened that, if sovereign data is not addressed, they will either (a) pull out of the F-35 program or (b) stop sending any data to the U.S.,” one document states.

The documents, which are marked “for official use only,” do not specify which countries had considered dropping out. Vice Adm. Mat Winter, who has led the F-35 program since 2017, said he was unaware that any nations had made such threats.

Quote

“You can’t fault our allies and partners for expressing their concerns,” Gunzinger added. “They should certainly be expressed, and it looks like they are — just as we have expressed our concerns over other weapons systems programs, fairly recently, in fact.”

The documents stated that the concerns about ALIS sovereign data stem back to 2013, when the Australian Ministry of Defence conducted a review of ALIS data security.

 

It's understandable that Customers of the F-35 are a bit uneasy about the information that is being reported back, but something has been put in place fairly recently for a number of countries, seemingly only for those that expressed their concerns. With a proper release to everyone else not due until 2020.

 

Quote

It appears a solution may already be in hand.

On Aug. 17, 2018, the Defense Department awarded a $26 million contract to Lockheed Martin to develop and test an “ALIS Sovereign Data Management” system that will allow foreign partners to more tightly control and protect their own data.

That effort has borne fruit, and certain partner nations have begun using the new data guard, which rolled out earlier this year, Winter said.

“Sovereign data management has been fielded to those that have aircraft. Norway has it. Israel has it. U.K. has it. Italy has it. We’re rolling it out to the Asia-Pacific here, now,” Winter said.

The new data guard allows a foreign military to manage aspects of its data that is sent to the F-35 Hybrid Production Support Integration team, basically allowing a partner nation to review and block data leaving the country.

But the documents obtained by Defense News also mention a future iteration of the management system, which is set to be available in 2020 on a future version of the software known as ALIS 3.6. That future iteration is expected to allow countries to filter the “releaseable” data from the “nonreleaseable” data in every message.

 

while these initial reports look bad, at least they are actively catering to their customers concerns and implementing changes...unlike a particular blue F social media company.

 

Maybe Google knowing about your particular kink isn't as big of an issue in the grand scheme of things :P

 

The F-35 is to be fully supported until 2070...provided the damn thing gets everything else sorted

 

https://www.defensenews.com/smr/hidden-troubles-f35/2019/06/12/two-f-35-partners-threatened-to-quit-the-program-heres-why-they-didnt/

 

try to keep replies focused on the technological side of things, not the political, pretty please? ❤️

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I'm more curious about how its sending the data. Are they plugging a highly classified plane into an ethernet port? Being it's the JSF, I'm going to guess it uses special satellite communications on a network only it uses that was put into space at the cost of 10 billion USD, because why wouldn't they do that to keep track of maintenance problems? 

 

As much as I'd like to chalk this up to malice, it's pretty obvious no one in the project probably ever thought, "hey, maybe transmitting the current location of the jet fighters to a serve in the DoD might piss off the countries that paid billions for the planes". 

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Could be worse. Download a software update in flight and try to restart...


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Posted · Original PosterOP
8 hours ago, Taf the Ghost said:

I'm more curious about how its sending the data. Are they plugging a highly classified plane into an ethernet port? Being it's the JSF, I'm going to guess it uses special satellite communications on a network only it uses that was put into space at the cost of 10 billion USD, because why wouldn't they do that to keep track of maintenance problems? 

 

Funnily enough, it's both. But it works more similar to when you're installing a new piece of software and it asks "would you like to send diagnostic data to help improve our product" except if you say no, it makes ALIS effectively useless. If you said no to something like steam it would be like

"oh,... OK well you'll only be able to access and play games you've already installed, the following services will be restricted. 

  • The store
  • Access to dlc
  • Access to updates
  • Friends
  • The workshop
  • Community pages
  • Forums
  • Steam support

Please agree to send data to re enable these services"

 

Which is what the two countries were planning on doing. You can still fly it perfectly fine without ALIS but it then just becomes another jet in terms of maintence crews and manual inspections after every flight unless you have someone that can read and interpret the data. The countries operating them have their own ALIS system in a shipping container, but the server they have doesn't actually check the diagnosis, it just records and transmits the data due to the amount of processing power required to decollate and calculate the results 

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13 hours ago, Arika S said:

Funnily enough, it's both. But it works more similar to when you're installing a new piece of software and it asks "would you like to send diagnostic data to help improve our product" except if you say no, it makes ALIS effectively useless. If you said no to something like steam it would be like

"oh,... OK well you'll only be able to access and play games you've already installed, the following services will be restricted. 

  • The store
  • Access to dlc
  • Access to updates
  • Friends
  • The workshop
  • Community pages
  • Forums
  • Steam support

Please agree to send data to re enable these services"

 

Which is what the two countries were planning on doing. You can still fly it perfectly fine without ALIS but it then just becomes another jet in terms of maintence crews and manual inspections after every flight unless you have someone that can read and interpret the data. The countries operating them have their own ALIS system in a shipping container, but the server they have doesn't actually check the diagnosis, it just records and transmits the data due to the amount of processing power required to decollate and calculate the results 

It should probably be noted that Lockheed's development bureau (the famed Skunk Works) is out of Palmdale, CA. They clearly have hired WAY too many ex-silicon valley employees. That's a data collection practice out of the early 2010s, which fits with the development time line. Utterly fitting for how terrible the project has gone.

 

Worst part of all of this? It was almost always the Software that was both the huge hold up & the biggest technical improvement over a 4th Generation Fighter. I'm still not convinced it was really worth building a full new airframe for all of the new technical capabilities. A redesign of previous airframes really would have been better, especially as is outboard layouts still look to be the dominant forward need, along with really high loiter times. JSF is the classic "this project needs to happen" events. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
6 minutes ago, Taf the Ghost said:

It should probably be noted that Lockheed's development bureau (the famed Skunk Works) is out of Palmdale, CA. They clearly have hired WAY too many ex-silicon valley employees. That's a data collection practice out of the early 2010s, which fits with the development time line. Utterly fitting for how terrible the project has gone.

 

Worst part of all of this? It was almost always the Software that was both the huge hold up & the biggest technical improvement over a 4th Generation Fighter. I'm still not convinced it was really worth building a full new airframe for all of the new technical capabilities. A redesign of previous airframes really would have been better, especially as is outboard layouts still look to be the dominant forward need, along with really high loiter times. JSF is the classic "this project needs to happen" events. 

a whole bunch of "legacy" aircraft were getting major avionics and cockpit updates due to how badly the F-35 project was going, they needed something that worked straight away, namely the F/A-18 Super Hornets, F-15E Strike Eagle and the service life was extended on a number of F-16s and A-10Cs as well.

 

at this stage the F-35 is too big to kill, too much money has been sunk into it and are unable to pull out

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18 minutes ago, Taf the Ghost said:

A redesign of previous airframes really would have been better, especially as is outboard layouts still look to be the dominant forward need, along with really high loiter times

I still have great affection for the F-14, was sad to see that go out of service (not that we ever had any).

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You know what Lockheed did well? 

 

The Super Constellation. 

 

And the L-1011


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1 minute ago, leadeater said:

I still have great affection for the F-14, was sad to see that go out of service (not that we ever had any).

The F-14 Tomcat had the distinction of being the best looking jet fighter.  It always kind of looked like a Supercar + Jet Fighter. Problem is that the end of the USSR killed it's functional military purpose, which was long-range, high speed interception. The F/1-18 being physically smaller makes it a better carrier-based fighter and cruise missiles did most of the rest. 

 

Still, it looks like how a Jet Fighter should.

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It seems to me to be the good ol' "make something new to keep things going like they've always been". It's kinda like the Google approach of making new products because that's where the money and prestige is.

 

I'd really like to know how governments come up with the idea of buying stuff via contracts that are way too expensive and that has way too long timeframes with no guarantees and no recourse when you realize that the contractor lied to you, will ask for more money, will ask for more time and can't deliver on any quality or quantity metric. Rinse and repeat.

 

Of course you soon realize that these companies buy these contracts for pennies. That you're looking at branches of government that has money to spend so that it has to be spent on something and preferably something visible with some prestige for those attached to these projects.

 

And then it gets worse when you realize that it spills over across NATO members who have been pressured to buy into this crap. It's like a bad state sponsored MLM-looking kinda deal.

 

It's tiresome.

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23 minutes ago, Arika S said:

a whole bunch of "legacy" aircraft were getting major avionics and cockpit updates due to how badly the F-35 project was going, they needed something that worked straight away, namely the F/A-18 Super Hornets, F-15E Strike Eagle and the service life was extended on a number of F-16s and A-10Cs as well.

 

at this stage the F-35 is too big to kill, too much money has been sunk into it and are unable to pull out

Yup. I don't blame them for wanting a ground-up, new airframe, but the Design Creep murdered the project.

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13 minutes ago, Taf the Ghost said:

The F-14 Tomcat had the distinction of being the best looking jet fighter.  It always kind of looked like a Supercar + Jet Fighter. Problem is that the end of the USSR killed it's functional military purpose, which was long-range, high speed interception. The F/1-18 being physically smaller makes it a better carrier-based fighter and cruise missiles did most of the rest. 

 

Still, it looks like how a Jet Fighter should.

Functionality be damned ?.

 

There are a few things the F-14 was still better at, and that need is coming back, so a new replacement for it would be cool. Forgo all the next gen stuff that for a large amount of roles just isn't required and you'd have a great replacement that is new and not a nightmare to keep operational.

 

I have the same feelings about the Iroquois, loved the sound of those and we actually had them. The new ones are just an annoying buzz, they need an airshow Huey sound button.

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2 minutes ago, Trixanity said:

It seems to me to be the good ol' "make something new to keep things going like they've always been". It's kinda like the Google approach of making new products because that's where the money and prestige is.

 

I'd really like to know how governments come up with the idea of buying stuff via contracts that are way too expensive and that has way too long timeframes with no guarantees and no recourse when you realize that the contractor lied to you, will ask for more money, will ask for more time and can't deliver on any quality or quantity metric. Rinse and repeat.

 

Of course you soon realize that these companies buy these contracts for pennies. That you're looking at branches of government that has money to spend so that it has to be spent on something and preferably something visible with some prestige for those attached to these projects.

 

And then it gets worse when you realize that it spills over across NATO members who have been pressured to buy into this crap. It's like a bad state sponsored MLM-looking kinda deal.

 

It's tiresome.

While military contractors aren't known for their haste, except during war time, they rarely are the problem. It's always the DoD & Congress side. After they pay to build two separate demonstration models, then choose the winner, they send them back with so many notes they have to design a brand new airframe to meet what's changed. Then, the joy of Congress. For many various reasons, sub-sections of big projects get cost-cut at weird times. This is where you start adding years of delays. You end up having to "solve" those problems by hiring (or even outright founding) companies within certain Congressional districts & States.

 

The F-35 got hit by a lot of weird cuts at bad times, beyond the design creep and foreign buyers wanting specific things to complete the deal.

 

This is worth the 10 minute watch, even if it was an armored vehicle. 

 

 

 

This is the insanity that happens. With the JSF, you had so many groups wanting things, this was *always* going to be the result. The new long-range bomber project is probably going to be even worse in a few years.

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24 minutes ago, Taf the Ghost said:

This is worth the 10 minute watch, even if it was an armored vehicle. 

Youtube comment gem, rare to find but oh so valuable

 

Quote

Fast forward 33 years after the Bradley was introduced and guess what? The army has a Ground Combat Vehicle program to replace the M113 by 2018 with almost the EXACT same requirements as in 1958. Competitors include an MRAP derivative vehicle, a Tracked Stryker and exactly 60 years after the first proposed design....

 

a Turretless Bradley.

lol

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11 minutes ago, leadeater said:

Youtube comment gem, rear to find but oh so valuable

 

lol

Great find. As for the JSF, you ended up with 4 military branches all wanting certain aspects, along with multiple countries. I feel sorry for the project leads.

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17 minutes ago, Taf the Ghost said:

While military contractors aren't known for their haste, except during war time, they rarely are the problem. It's always the DoD & Congress side. After they pay to build two separate demonstration models, then choose the winner, they send them back with so many notes they have to design a brand new airframe to meet what's changed. Then, the joy of Congress. For many various reasons, sub-sections of big projects get cost-cut at weird times. This is where you start adding years of delays. You end up having to "solve" those problems by hiring (or even outright founding) companies within certain Congressional districts & States.

 

The F-35 got hit by a lot of weird cuts at bad times, beyond the design creep and foreign buyers wanting specific things to complete the deal.

 

This is worth the 10 minute watch, even if it was an armored vehicle. 

 

 

 

This is the insanity that happens. With the JSF, you had so many groups wanting things, this was *always* going to be the result. The new long-range bomber project is probably going to be even worse in a few years.

That's just classic incompetence when management doesn't listen to experts. Another fun but equally frustrating video.

 

However I wouldn't absolve contractors from blame. They develop shit they want to unload. They buy contracts they can't uphold. I wouldn't be surprised if each of those suits had a company that wanted them to push something whether it was the antitank weaponry, the turret or the reconnaissance equipment. I can't imagine stupid ideas come out of nowhere. They've likely been told that a vehicle was in the making and they want their stuff in it. It'll finance their next 10 years of business.

 

Of course it's obviously just an epic clusterfuck when all is said and done. Lots of idiots with no oversight and cash to burn. Regardless of who's to blame.

 

These proceedings should be more transparent so they can be shamed for it. That goes for any project built with taxpayers' money.

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3 minutes ago, Trixanity said:

That's just classic incompetence when management doesn't listen to experts. Another fun but equally frustrating video.

 

However I wouldn't absolve contractors from blame. They develop shit they want to unload. They buy contracts they can't uphold. I wouldn't be surprised if each of those suits had a company that wanted them to push something whether it was the antitank weaponry, the turret or the reconnaissance equipment. I can't imagine stupid ideas come out of nowhere. They've likely been told that a vehicle was in the making and they want their stuff in it. It'll finance their next 10 years of business.

 

Of course it's obviously just an epic clusterfuck when all is said and done. Lots of idiots with no oversight and cash to burn. Regardless of who's to blame.

 

These proceedings should be more transparent so they can be shamed for it. That goes for any project built with taxpayers' money.

 

Found the whole film. 

 

I'm reminded of that weird 5G study that came out about a year ago, for whom the commissioning general promptly retired. Self-interest is one thing, but corruption really is extremely irritating. 

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On 6/20/2019 at 9:05 AM, Arika S said:

 

So what does this data contain? Well for ALIS to know when things need to be looked into buy a human mechanic or to alert operators to order replacements, some sources have claimed ALIS is reporting

  • Flight times
  • GPS Data
  • Loadout information
  • Fuel consumption
  • Work orders
  • Downtime 

As a citizen of a country that is looking into purchasing over a dozen of new F-35 (Belgium, to replace the aging F-16 fleet), this is not a big deal;

 

- As far as I know, Lockheed Martin / US govt only sells these plane to close allies.

- Belgium and the US are both part of NATO. They already share a TON (if not ALL) military information due to the NATO partnership.

- The US has the most powerful military surveillance equipment (sattelites, drones, planes, etc.) in the world. This data on flight times and GPS would not tell them anything they don't already know.

 

So what is the big deal?

 

The only questionable thing might be that the data could be intercepted by non-allies. As long as it is properly encrypted etc... But again, I am sure Russia and China and the like wouldn;t learn anything they don;t already know based on this data.

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On 6/20/2019 at 9:05 AM, Arika S said:

The F-35 is to be fully supported until 2070...provided the damn thing gets everything else sorted

How often are planes supported for 50 years?


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On 6/20/2019 at 4:49 PM, Trixanity said:

Considering the number times I've criticized this shitty product and gotten flak for it, 

Now the question is.

 

How much AA flak guns would it take to shoot down a F35

 

Going by warthunder logic. About 12 providing its above an airfield

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