Lockheed Martin to add new F-35 Mission Data Load production line at ACURL
US Naval Air Systems Command has awarded Lockheed Martin a contract worth up to $213.3 million to deliver engineering, maintenance, logistics, and material support for the Australia, Canada and UK Reprogramming Laboratory (ACURL) at Eglin AFB, Florida.
The work, in support of the Phase 2 ACURL construction upgrade at Eglin, also includes the provision of a new Mission Data Load (MDL) production and test line to support sovereign F-35 reprogramming capabilities for Australia and the UK.
Work will be performed at Eglin (65%) and Fort Worth (35%) for completion by July 2027, the DoD announced on 27 July.
MDLs for the F-35 help the various sensors aboard the F-35 to identify threats. MDL files are loaded aboard the aircraft before flight via a portable hard drive.
Australia operates the F-35A conventional take-off and landing variant while the UK flies F-35B short take-off and landing aircraft.
Canada only recently joined the F-35 programme as a customer, choosing the F-35A in March 2022 as a replacement for its fleet of CF-18 Hornets.
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