So, apparently, there’s some ongoing issues with Turkey’s plans to purchase 100 of those boondoggle F-35s:
In particular, Turkey wants control over the aircraft’s identification friend or foe (IFF) system in order to offer more flexibility with regard to how its fleet identifies foreign air force jets. The default setting of the original U.S. software for Turkey’s F-16 fleet, for instance, identified Israeli air force jets as exclusively friendly. To overcome the problem, ASELSAN, one of Turkey’s leading defense companies, developed a new IFF system, which was finalized in September 2011 and is now operational on Turkey’s F-16 fleet. The new system allows Turkish fighters to bypass the original software restrictions, allowing Turkish pilots to determine whether to recognize Israeli fighters as either friendly or hostile.
So, somewhere deep in this $200m aircraft is a burnt PROM smaller than a thumbnail containing presumably digitally-signed, encrypted C++ code. And in that code, there’s logic that maps IFF codes to a list of known IDs, and whether they are “friends” or “foes”. The USA, as a matter of foreign policy, has decided to tag those fields “private” and “static”, but Turkey, as a matter of foreign policy, is threatening to scuttle the $20b deal because they want those fields to have public mutator methods. Bosses. Always giving engineers these late-in-the-game change orders for political reasons, and they wonder why the schedule slips.