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Propulsion Requirements System delivers from the cloud

  • Published
  • By Dennis Hall and Anthony Goodman

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Business and Enterprise Systems Directorate recently deployed a new version of the Propulsion Requirements System (PRS).

The PRS determines the quantity of spare engine assets required to enable peace, training, and wartime mission objectives. This release provided an automated opportunity for users to pull critical data to support decision-making processes impacting 16,475 engine requirements worth $63.4 billion annually.

Each year, Command Engine Managers (CEMs) from each Major Command travel to Wright- Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio to utilize PRS to determine unit-specific engine stock levels using key data that is used in the acquisition and distribution of these vital assets and provides information that impacts the Presidential Defense Budget.

Before 2023, the CEMs relied on the aging stand-alone PRS system that was not connected to the Air Force Network (AFNet) and was configured with a computer for each CEM to verify and update Major Command-specific data. Once the data was entered, the system would perform a roll-up of the data, compute spare engine levels, and provide Engine Acquisition System Managers with the capability to compute engine requirements for new programs. During the annual PRS conference, programs that were constrained to meet computed levels due to an insufficient quantity of engines negotiated with other commands to streamline and prioritize requirements. This two-week conference determined the allocation of propulsion systems for every major airborne weapon system in the Air Force.

This year, the conference was able to take advantage of the newer version of PRS which is now based in Cloud One (Amazon Web Services-IL6).

The effort to modernize PRS and move it to the Cloud began in August 2022 and removed much of the legacy system’s technical debt.

The migration was a pathfinder initiative to convert the Power Builder desktop-based technology to a more modern Microsoft web stack design for AFNet-wide access. The modernization has resulted in ease of use, productivity savings, enhanced report generation, and cost avoidance for users traveling to access a stand-alone desktop system environment from alternate locations.

PRS in Cloud One provides users year- round classified access to generate reports and compute changes in flying hours beyond the current two-week annual PRS Working Group conference. All computations can now be performed via Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet) at AFNet locations without waiting or traveling to Wright-Patterson AFB. This will allow PRS users to work on requirements ahead of time, enabling them to focus more on collaboration at the conference.

The new cloud system provides better clarity and useability for the customers,” said Greg Patterson, Depot Lead Engine Item Manager. “We are very appreciative of the work and effort to get the system online before our FY24 annual meeting. The new system gives the users more access and reduced time in computing spare engine requirements and ensures this vital capability is maintained for the USAF in the coming years.”

Moving forward, PRS will continue to support engine requirements while increasing capability for the customer. By adding features not obtainable in the previous version, PRS will ensure Air Force propulsion requirements are precisely captured in support of the respective weapons system life cycle.