Optimization software helps identify billions in F-35 O&M cost savings

Optimization software helps identify billions in F-35 O&M cost savings

The US Navy uses the logistics optimization software Opus Suite from Systecon to reduce operation and maintenance costs in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.

Since early estimates suggested that the total costs of the F-35 program might exceed one trillion dollars, major efforts have been made to reduce the price of the aircraft as well as the costs of operation and maintenance. In this context, Opus Suite from Systecon has been used to simulate and optimize the logistic support solution. Opus Suite gives both a high-level perspective and a detailed understanding of the factors that impact the complex systems’ performance and costs throughout their life cycle. It also provides the ability to optimize the support solution, the resource allocation and the spares supply.     

Billions in savings      
In 2013, the Pentagon established a “cost war room” where the US Navy, US Air Force, US Marine Corps and prime suppliers Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney have worked jointly to identify measures for reducing costs. Since 2014, the cost war room has been using Opus Suite to evaluate and optimize the logistics support solution to reduce O&M costs while at the same time ensuring that the requirements for aircraft availability and maintenance effectiveness can be met. Before selecting Opus Suite, the program unsuccessfully tried other tools on the market.

Early analyses have already identified billions of dollars in potential savings. US Naval Air Systems Command “NavAir”, which is mainly responsible for the F-35 maintenance, recently purchased an enterprise license for Opus Suite that gives the entire organization access to the tool set. In addition to F-35, Opus Suite is or will be used for the optimization and simulation of the logistics support for H60 Black Hawks, CH53K Sea Stallion, V-22 Osprey, H-1 Light Helicopters and E2-C Hawkeye. Delivery, implementation and support is provided by Systecon North America.      

This is an important reference installation for Opus Suite within the US Department of Defense. When the customer compared and evaluated different alternative solutions, our software was the only one with the capacity to model their complex scenario. We are now starting to see the ripple effects of these analyses, and I am convinced substantial savings will be achieved in many other DOD programs as well,” says Robert Hell, President of Systecon.

Opus Suite balances F-35 performance and total cost of ownership    
Opus Suite is used in the F-35 program to model both the technical breakdown of the complex aircraft, as well as the large multinational organization for operation and maintenance. Simulation and cost analysis are used to identify the factors that drive cost and performance, and these can be optimized from a life cycle perspective. In the cost war room, Opus Suite has been integrated as analysis engine in a solution called Joint Affordability Model, or JAM, which provides decision makers and materiel managers with fast and relevant information on the impact of different improvement suggestions, and other changes.       

For Systecon, the use of Opus Suite in the F-35 program has been an opportunity to proof-test the tool set, both in terms of scenario complexity and software performance. It has proven the capability to handle large and complex multinational scenarios effectively.