Foreign air forces ordering the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) will be able to customize the mission data packages loaded onto their aircraft in a compromise that defense officials say both preserves U.S. security and allows allies a greater degree of customization of their fighters.
Loading specific mission data packages onto the stealth fighter had been a bone of contention amongst the partner nations helping to develop the F-35.
The Pentagon — which is paying for the lion’s share of the roughly $50 billion F-35 development program — has a strict policy of never sharing the source codes for any U.S. weapons system even with America’s closest allies.
However, U.S. allies who are paying billions to buy the F-35 need to modify the jet for their particular needs have agitated for the right to alter the data packages their planes. […]