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 DOT&E Director, Operational Test & Evaluation  
FY98 Annual Report
FY98 Annual Report

INTEGRATED MAINTENANCE DATA SYSTEM (IMDS)


Air Force ACAT IAM Program: Prime Contractor
Total Number of Systems:200 SitesAndersen Consulting
Total Program Cost (TY$):$418M 
Average Unit Cost (TY$):$2MService Certified Y2K Compliant
Full-rate Production:FY00IOC Post Year 2000 (Expected in 4QFY00)

SYSTEM DESCRIPTION & CONTRIBUTION TO JOINT VISION 2010

The Integrated Maintenance Data System (IMDS) will be the standard Air Force system for maintenance information. All maintenance information should be accessible for collection, storage, and dissemination of critical data for repair and improvement of Air Force weapons systems and equipment. IMDS functions as a single logical data base that accesses historical and legacy data currently stored in other data bases. The design of IMDS is flexible to support changes in logistics infrastructure size, quantity, and mission orientation, whether at home base or deployed. IMDS allows unit-level selection of system functions.

A single integrated data base structure places maximum emphasis on data retrieval by weapons systems and supports response time requirements. Application programs operate in decentralized modules that maintain appropriate levels of support despite losses of higher-level computer interfaces. This gives any unit-level operation the essential data needed to continue vital maintenance functions during deployed operations.

IMDS software is based upon the implementation of a Commercial-off-the-Shelf package called Government On-line Data (GOLD). The Air Force will be contracting for further development and tailoring of the GOLD package for IMDS purposes. The Air Force plans to buy the newly created commercially available version of GOLD.

IMDS supports Joint Vision 2010 in the area of focused logistics by providing additional visibility and improved accuracy and dissemination of maintenance information.


BACKGROUND INFORMATION

By the early 1990s, the Air Force's legacy maintenance information systems were proving inadequate. They were inflexible, error prone, and costly. They also lacked the performance and functionality to support the Air Force transition to a more flexible, expeditionary force adept in rapid deployment and employment.

A Program Management Directive in May 1995 led to the formation of the present IMDS Program. A subsequent system decision memorandum was issued in January 1996. IMDS is an evolutionary program that will be fielded through a series of six increments-each building on the previous one.

IMDS will be placed under the cognizance of the Global Combat Support System-Air Force (GCSS-AF) program after each completes IOT&E (scheduled in 2QFY00 for IMDS and 3QFY00 for GCSS-AF). Thereafter, IMDS will be managed under GCSS-AF.


TEST & EVALUATION ACTIVITY

Contractor-based beta testing activities started in July 1997 to mitigate risk and assess the maturity of the system prior to conducting OT&E. This early look at the initial increment of the IMDS program indicated that there was significant functionality missing which needed to be added. The development strategy has since been restructured to develop the core system (consisting of the initial Increments 1-3) and prepare for IOT&E of the core system. Milestone III and fielding are now planned in FY00. Increment 2 of IMDS was delivered to the beta test site in July 1998 to obtain user feedback on functionality and performance. After the core system is tested, the program office plans to operationally test and field an increment of IMDS annually through Increment 6. A draft TEMP is currently in staffing.


TEST & EVALUATION ASSESSMENT

The program office is relying on contractor-conducted DT, corroborated and augmented by integration testing by a permanent users group, and members of the Combined Test Force (CTF). The CTF plans to conduct an operational field test as a "dry run" in January/February 2000, prior to the OT&E. Risk mitigation is a real concern, given initial indications from the beta testing which identified several technical problems that should have been identified in DT. Despite these problems IMDS seemed to be better suited for information retrieval than the legacy system. DOT&E is currently working with the program office to define the scope of IMDS IOT&E.


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