Germany has asked the U.S. Defense Department through a letter to provide classified data on the Lockheed Martin-built F-35 fighter aircraft as the country’s air force prepares to replace its fleet of Tornado jets between 2025 and 2035, Reuters reported Wednesday.
A group of officers within the German air force has started to collect data for an analysis of alternatives for a new fighter jet and has begun to work with the defense ministry’s air combat system task force to reach a decision on the program by the middle of 2018, according to the letter obtained by Reuters.
“In order to understand (the) F-35’s cutting-edge technologies, the German air force is requesting a classified brief of the F-35’s capabilities in general and especially concerning sensor suites, information management and operational capabilities,” the letter said.
The letter added U.S. officials in Bonn, Germany, suggested a video conference to facilitate the classified briefing, which a source says could last for approximately eight hours.
DoD’s F-35 program office said it had received the German air force’s letter and initiated efforts to support the country’s request for classified briefing, the report added.