Marine Corps F-35bs are back in play after the Air Force managed to fix a software glitch that was causing the onboard logistics system to malfunction.
Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Arizona grounded all F-35s this past week, but that suspension has now been lifted as of Friday, Defense News reports.
An investigation into the issue revealed that a software update caused the Autonomic Logistics Information System to suffer from various “anomalies,” which prompted a full suspension.
Officials managed to create a software fix for the ALIS 2.02 update, which appears to have solved the anomalies.
“With this fix, VMAF-211 at MCAS Yuma resumed flight operations today,” the F-35 Joint Program Office said in a statement. “The JPO with LM will continue to monitor and improve ALIS performance to ensure our warfighters have the required F-35 air systems to operate safely and effectively.”
After the anomalies were first reported, Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain, who chairs the Senate Committee on Armed Services and has been a long-time critic of the F-35, said the suspension was concerning.
“I was concerned to learn that the Marine Corps has suspended F-35B operations at MCAS Yuma due to problems with the aircraft’s Autonomic Logistics Information System,” McCain stated. “I am in close communication with the Marine Corps and Joint Program Office as they work to identify the root cause of these issues and resolve them as quickly as possible.”
He later said he was “glad” that flight operations had resumed.
The ALIS system is required for jet maintenance and mission planning. For example, part of the function of the ALIS is to transmit mechanical information about the aircraft to ground receivers and also to automatically schedule maintenance.
The incident at Yuma has followed a suspension of F-35 flights at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, which came about because pilots were starting to report hypoxia-like symptoms caused by a lack of oxygen. While flight operations have resumed at the base, pilots are not permitted to fly at high altitudes.
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