The US Air Force (USAF) Rapid Sustainment Office (RSO) has joined forces with Google Cloud to develop an open and globally scalable ecosystem for aircraft maintenance.

The move will support RSO’s ‘Project Lighthouse’ initiative that seeks to optimise maintenance readiness, enhance staff productivity and cut overall costs.

RSO Program Executive Office deputy Nathan Parker said: “Our partnership with Google Cloud is a significant milestone for RSO on our journey to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies when everything is connected, and deliver on our mandate to solve the airforce’s toughest sustainment challenges.

“What we’re building with Google Cloud will accelerate the way we adopt, integrate, and scale technologies for the airforce. Project Lighthouse is a hardware-flexible, software-driven approach that provides optionality at scale.”

The new aircraft maintenance ecosystem will enable the integration of emerging technologies ranging from predictive maintenance software to manufacturing robotics.

As agreed, the project will be powered by Google Cloud’s API management platform Apigee and managed application platform Anthos. Google Cloud’s professional services organisation will also provide the necessary support.

At first, the aircraft maintenance ecosystem will be validated and tested for scalability within the USAF’s technology environment. Subsequently, the system will be launched.

Google Cloud Global public sector vice-president Mike Daniels said: “We know that sustainment is one of the biggest and most complex challenges in the military, and we are proud to support the RSO in its mission to modernise the USAF.

“Thanks to Project Lighthouse, more personnel are going to have what they need to do their jobs faster, and we’re committed to playing a key role in this effort.”

Last year, Google Cloud signed an agreement to support USAF initial flight training modernisation.