The UK and Australia have opened a joint facility related to the Lockheed Martin F-35 at Eglin AFB, Florida.
The “Reprogramming Laboratory” produces mission data files that include details about the operating environment and assets in an area, which are then loaded onto aircraft using a portable hard drive.
“Combined with the aircraft’s advance sensor suite, this provides the pilot with a clearer battlespace picture,” says Australian defence minister Linda Reynolds.
The laboratory is co-funded by the two governments, though no Canberra gave no financial figures.
The Royal Australian Air Force operates 18 F-35As and has plans to obtain a total of 72 examples. The Royal Air Force has 15 F-35Bs, the type’s short take-off and vertical landing variant, with plans to obtain a total of 135.