The command software system for the Israeli air force’s (IAF) new Lockheed Martin F-35I Adir combat aircraft has entered production following completion of the development and testing phase.

The command, control, communications and computer (C4) system is being developed by Israel Aerospace Industries’ Lahav division, which announced on 3 April it had completed the system definition, prototyping and testing phases ahead of production.

IAI says generic communications infrastructure is used in the C4 system that is based on software-defined radio technology, adding to an airborne communications network that will “dramatically improve over legacy systems”, namely the Lockheed F-16 and Boeing F-15.

IAI also says the C4 system’s open architecture introduces a “new level of freedom” for the IAF, as it paves the way for additional capabilities to be embedded in the F-35I in future.

“This cutting edge avionic system represents an ‘operational quantum leap’ in the capability of air power to conduct networked-centric air warfare,” Benni Cohen, general manager of the Lahav division, says. “It is part of a major change that takes place once in a decade, which includes the upgrading of fourth generation systems.

“This programme will be critical to our national security as it represents a shift in air forces’ concepts of operations and operational capabilities.”

The IAF has nine of the type on order out of a total plan to acquire 50 examples, Flightglobal's Fleets Analyzer database shows.