JERUSALEM, June 22 (UPI) -- F-35 Lightning II aircraft flown by Israel will feature Israeli-made cyberdefense systems, a top Israeli Air Force officer says.
The decision to protect avionics and automated logistic systems with locally made products comes amid concerns over reported deficiencies in the fighter's software and cybersecurity systems.
In March, the Pentagon's director of weapons testing told a congressional hearing that limited and incomplete F-35 cybersecurity testing had revealed serious deficiencies.
Israeli Air Force Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Tal Kelman praised the F-35 but said the issue of cyberdefense was a matter of concern.
"After negotiations with the U.S. and the plane's manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, an agreement was reached enabling the Israel Air Force to create Israeli cyberdefense solutions," Kelman told The Jerusalem Post.
Kelman also said the IAF seeks to achieve an independent ability to maintain the aircraft within the country's borders.
"We are integrating Israeli defense companies to carry out some of the maintenance," he said, while the United States remains responsible for basic maintenance functions carried out at the IAF's Nevatim airbase in southern Israel.
Kelman made his remarks during a roll-out ceremony in Texas for te first of 33 F-35s ordered by Israel from Lockheed Martin.