Eglin as Software Central?

Eglin AFB, Fla., is under consideration as a “reprogramming facility” for developing and distributing F-35 software upgrades to future international operators of the stealth fighter. So reported Reuters news wire service Nov. 24, citing a senior F-35 program official. According to Reuters, this type of facility is envisioned since the United States does not intend to release the F-35’s sensitive software source code to the international partners sharing in the aircraft’s development—despite their requests—or to those countries planning to purchase the aircraft off the production line. Friction between the US and the F-35 partners over technology sharing has arisen at times, but has so far not derailed the massive multinational project or caused a member to stop participating. Eglin has already been selected to play a big role in the F-35 program by hosting the initial joint schoolhouse for the aircraft.