Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Partners can customize F-35 data

U.S. allies buying F-35 fighters will be able to customize the mission data packages loaded onto their aircraft, marking a solution to a long-standing bone of contention among partners developing the F-35. The Pentagon has a policy of never sharing the source codes for any U.S. weapons system. But partners want to be able to modify data packages to meet their needs. Data packages hold terrain and threat information for particular regions, along with data on friendly forces, all providing a pilot with battlespace awareness. Air Force Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, the F-35 program manager, said last week that a compromise has been reached through labs where partners will be able to do their own software work. The U.S. Navy will operate a mission data lab at Naval Air Station Point Mugu, Calif. Right now the Air Force's Air Combat Command reprogramming lab at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., creates all of the F-35 mission data packages. Building additional reprogramming labs will help alleviate pressure on the Eglin lab. Partner nations will also be building facilities in the U.S. to reprogram their F-35s. (Source: USNI, 11/04/14)