The development of mission data files for the F-35 is handled at Eglin. The electronic files ensure that each aircraft is equipped with the latest information on threats ranging from radar to missiles.
By Jim Thompson | 315-4445 | @Jimtnwfdn | firstname.lastname@example.org
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE — A laboratory that develops mission data files for countries using the F-35 Lightning II will be getting some new equipment under a recently awarded $7.5 million federal contract, according to a spokesman for the Department of Defense F-35 Joint Program Office.
The contract will move a “verification and validation system” from F-35 contractor Lockheed Martin Corporation’s facilities in Fort Worth, Texas to the Australia, Canada, United Kingdom Reprogramming Laboratory (ACURL) at Eglin, Joint Program Office Joe DellaVedova explained.
The development of mission data files for the F-35 is handled at Eglin. The electronic files, developed with information from the intelligence communities in the individual countries using the F-35, ensure that each aircraft is equipped with the latest information on threats ranging from radar to missiles. The files can be updated as the array of threats to the F-35 changes, DellaVedova said.
Initially, the transfer of the verification and validation system won’t increase staffing at Eglin beyond the relative handful of Lockheed Martin personnel who will be on hand to install and test the equipment once it is moved to the base, according to DellaVedova.
However, after the equipment is in place, Australia and the United Kingdom will be bringing new personnel to Eglin, DellaVedova said. That is expected to happen sometime next year, he added.
“There will be an increase in people” at Eglin, DellaVedova said, although it is unclear exactly how many people could be coming to Eglin in connection with the ACURL.
In addition to working with Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom on mission data files, Eglin personnel also work with Norway, Italy, Denmark, The Netherlands and Turkey.
The F-35 is a fifth-generation fighter jet designed to combine speed and stealth with significant digital capabilities. The first F-35 came off the assembly line in 2006, and as of last month there were 265 F-35s flying around the world.
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