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[] Britain warns US over jet software codes
Britain warns US over jet software codes
£12bn Joint Strike Fighter order could be scrapped

Matt Chapman, 15 Mar 2006
The UK has warned America that it will cancel its £12bn order for the Joint
Strike Fighter if the US does not hand over full access to the computer
software code that controls the jets.

Lord Drayson, minister for defence procurement, told the The Daily Telegraph
that the planes were useless without control of the software as they could
effectively be "switched off" by the Americans without warning.

"We do expect this technology transfer to take place. But if it does not
take place we will not be able to purchase these aircraft," said Lord

The problem stems from strict US guidelines on the transfer of technology to
other countries. Under current rules any British requests for the use of US
technology can take 20 days to go through, obviously limiting the usefulness
of a jet strike force.

Lord Drayson is currently in Washington to speak to members of Congress. His
tough talking on the project includes the fact that Britain has a 'Plan B'
if the Joint Strike Fighter deal falls through.

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