Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The F-35’s Buggy Software

Dan Grazier (via Hacker News):

Despite many fixes, the aircraft’s Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) is so flawed that government auditors believe the computer system may not be deployable. These problems may also delay the Air Force’s declaration of Initial Operational Capability.


ALIS is the ground-based computer system meant to diagnose mechanical problems, order and track replacement parts, and guide maintenance crews through repairs. It also allows pilots to plan missions and later review their performance. At least, it’s supposed to do all of those things.

So far, the software has been so flawed that maintenance crews have had to resort to time-consuming workarounds. In one instance, maintainers even had to manually burn data onto CDs and drive off base to send the massive files across a civilian WiFi network.


Speaking as someone who left a company that did radar software development in ADA (and some C). We were a subcontractor of Boeing and wrote the software for them.

We didn’t formally verify the code, its way too complex, but everything was reviewed and heavily tested. And tested again. Then integrated and tested…

Ada is pretty strict and if it compiles you usually had some confidence it was going to at least run ok.

The industry was moving to C/C++ because developers know it and promises of higher productivity. I did kinda grow to like ada. It had its warts, but it was good. It reminds me a bit of GO with its packages.

1 Comment RSS · Twitter

Incident: Expressjet E145 near Cleveland on May 1st 2016, spectacular computer failure

Leave a Comment