F-35 ODIN hardware installed at two more locations

By Courtney Albon / August 16, 2021 at 12:32 PM

The F-35 joint program office and Lockheed Martin this summer have deployed Operational Data Integrated Network hardware at two additional squadrons, the program announced last week.

The program installed one ODIN Base Kit (OBK) July 16 at Naval Air Station Lemoore, CA, on July 16 and a second at Nellis Air Force Base, NV, on Aug. 6. According to an Aug. 9 press release, the two deployments are the first of 14 installations scheduled through early 2022.

The JPO's announcement comes as the program is reevaluating its plans to transition from the F-35's Autonomic Logistics Information System -- which has been notoriously unreliable for maintainers -- to ODIN, a cloud-based system.

F-35 Program Executive Officer Lt. Gen. Eric Fick told lawmakers in April that Congress' 42% reduction to the program's research and development budget in fiscal year 2021 forced the JPO to implement a strategic pause for the transition. An updated schedule is now expected later this year or in early 2022.

With this summer's ODIN deployments, the program has now installed hardware at four locations. Last September, the JPO conducted more than 30 days of hardware tests at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, AZ. Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD, also has an OBK installed to support integrated flight test operations.

The ODIN hardware replaces ALIS' unclassified Standard Operating Unit (SOU-U) with a much smaller system that costs 30% less than the legacy hardware, according to the JPO. The press release notes that the current plans is to replace all remaining SOU-U servers beginning in 2022.

The press release does not address the status of ODIN software development. The JPO had previously expected to field ODIN software next year, but Fick said in May the plan had been "scoffed at" by agile software experts who said the timeline was too aggressive.