Norwegian defense officials have caught one of their F-35A stealth fighter jets sending sensitive data back to its US manufacturer – Lockheed Martin, according to a report on news.com.au.
Norway is the first non-US user of the F-35 to have a mission-critical software package enabled through the provision of Mission Data Files.
"The development from F-16 to F-35 is like comparing an old Nokia 3210 with an iPhone X. As the amount of features increases, data is also increasing and the need to protect it," Norwegian Defense Ministry consultant Lars Gjemble told ABC Nyheter.
"Due to national considerations, there is a need for a filter where the user nations can exclude sensitive data from the data stream that is shared by the system with the manufacturer Lockheed Martin," Gjemble said.
At the heart of the problem is the F-35’s artificial intelligence, dubbed ALIS, which is responsible for logging performance data, as well as monitoring and optimizing the aircraft’s sophisticated equipment. To do so, it reports back to the manufacturer.
Norway says it is waiting for Lockheed Martin to provide it with a data "filter." Meanwhile, it has started its own project to find ways to block its new F-35s from reporting back to the US company.
Lockheed Martin has not commented on the report.