Australia opens F-35A Lightning II Off-Board Information Systems Centre


The Australian Department of Defense (DoD) has opened the Off-Board Information Systems Centre (OBISC) at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) base Williamtown, New South Wales, Australia.

The OBISC is said to be the first of the RAAF’s F-35A joint strike fighter (JSF) facilities.

The centre was built at a cost of A$16m ($12.16m) as part of the A$770m ($585.4m) of works currently underway at the base.

It will host the ground-based, off-board, F-35A autonomic logistics information system (ALIS).

Said to be the logistical nerve centre for the JSF, ALIS is used to support mission planning, manage air and ground crew training, day to day maintenance activities, and to provide logistical support to the aircraft and associated systems.

It is said to provide the information system hardware, software and data that performs maintenance management, fault diagnostics, supply support, mission planning and training management across the F-35A weapon system.

Australia Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said: “The overall investment in Williamtown is providing significant returns to the local community with more than $215m of contracts going to local businesses to date.

“It demonstrates what happens when the government invests in high-end military equipment. It requires upgrading bases and material across the country, which then flows into investment in jobs in local industry.”

"The overall investment in Williamtown is providing significant returns to the local community with more than $215m of contracts going to local businesses to date."

During the construction phase, the centre created 350 jobs in the region.

Works currently underway at Williamtown to support the F-35A capability are expected to be completed by mid-2021.

The Williamtown will provide a wide range of facilities such as runway extensions, base electrical, sewage, fire and storm-water management infrastructure, F-35A squadron headquarters, and training and maintenance facilities.

The New Air Combat Capability project at Williamtown secured government approval in April 2014 and is part of a A$1.477bn ($1.122bn) capability project undertaken by Defence across RAAF bases Williamtown and Tindal, as well as forward-operating bases.


Image: Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne at the opening of the F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, Off-Board Information Systems Centre (OBISC). Photo: courtesy of the Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence.