Google to provide Air Force’s maintenance office a cloud ‘ecosystem’

Today, surplus U.S. military planes are stored in the largest airplane boneyard in the world, operated by the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group AMARG at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona

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The Air Force‘s Rapid Sustainment Office inked a deal with Google Cloud for an “ecosystem” of technologies that will support maintenance operations.

Through the deal, the Air Force will get will receive an “open, agile, and globally scalable ecosystem” of cloud tech, Google said in a release. Dubbed “Project Lighthouse,” it will support everything from predictive maintenance software to augmented reality.

The company would not disclose how much the deal is worth.

“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 Air Force’s toughest sustainment challenges,” Nathan Parker, deputy of the program executive office at the Air Force RSO, said in a release. “What we’re building with Google Cloud will accelerate the way we adopt, integrate, and scale technologies for the Air Force. Project Lighthouse is a hardware-flexible, software-driven approach that provides optionality at scale.”

The Rapid Sustainment Office has been pushing to use technology to better maintain aircraft. One high-profile project aims to use artificial intelligence to predict when parts will fail. Other initiatives include work to make digital replicas of aircraft, known as digital twins. Many of the goals rely on cloud storage and compute power.

The technology from Google is still being prototyped and tested, the company 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 modernize the U.S. Air Force,” Mike Daniels, vice president of global public sector at Google Cloud, said in the release.

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Air Force, Google Cloud, predictive analytics
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