Brits Have Their Way, Partly

Brits Have Their Way, Partly: It looks like Tony Blair has sold George Bush on the prudence of letting the Pentagon and prime contractor Lockheed Martin share the keys to Joint Strike Fighter classified technology with Britain, the partner with the greatest allied stake in the new fighter. Prime Minister Blair had mentioned the issue to President Bush earlier when he tried—unsuccessfully—to get Bush to overrule the Pentagon’s plan to cut the JSF’s alternate engine. According to a joint statement, Britain’s retention of JSF “operational sovereignty” includes the “ability to successfully operate, upgrade, employ, and maintain” the new fighter. It goes on to state that “both government agree to protect sensitive technologies found within the Joint Strike Fighter program”—with details to come.