Hingst, Raymond D. and Gunter, Greg (2007) Autonomic logistics: an infrastructure approach. In: The Third Australian JSF Advanced Technology and Innovation Conference, 10-11 Jul 2007, Melbourne.
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autonŏ΄mic a., (esp. Physiol., functioning involuntarily). logi΄stics n. pl. art of moving, lodging, and supplying troops and equipment. Autonomic Logistics, (AL), as the amalgamation of the two terms suggest, has the potential to 'happen automatically'. The integration of embedded advanced technology to the logistic function will have the same impact in Australia as Just In Time (JIT) has had on the production process. Our highly centralised manufacturing and distribution infrastructure, and long lines of communication, have diluted some of the JIT advantage within this country. A real risk for Australia is if AL serves as a bypass for domestic industry leading to the provision of logistic support directly from the USA, rather than from a national support base. This paper will consider the specific impact of AL within the context of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) project and the general implications for the application of AL within the economy of Australia and potentially, Asia. AL will create a demand for skilled personnel to support the requirements of the various industries. The initial resources (training and software) for JSF will be through the consortium (Lockheed Martin approved training). However, other military programs (new and retrofits) as well as commercial sectors (mining, rail, line-haul transport and automotive for example) will compete for these limited resources. In order to position itself for the Follow-On Development and Technology Refresh programs, Australia needs to have an indigenous capability. In countries such as the USA, corporations act as the developers of the capabilities leading to commercialisation of Defence programs. There are no corporate facilitators to develop an Australian infrastructure to support these requirements. The Australian JSF program needs to initiate and cultivate a Government sponsored board of stakeholders from Industry (Defence, Mining and Automotive), Military (Air Warfare Destroyer, Amphibious Ships and retrofits such as C-17) and Academic (Engineering, IS/IT and Logistics). Since AL is the heart of the F-35 being able to achieve cost and mission goals by exploiting acute window of availability and reduce downtime, any country wanting to compete for support contracts with countries outside the consortium will have to have an indigenous capability or be relegated to the comparatively limited areas of technology based manufacturing. In order to meet the challenge presented by the JSF program generally and AL specifically, a coordinated preparation, based on the cornerstone of training, must be provided in partnership to give the foundation Australian industry needs to participate in the subsequent phases of the JSF project in our region and beyond.
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