The Italian defense ministry is considering cutting its F-35 orders with calls to further reduce the number of aircraft on order.
Italy has become the first US ally to call out the flaws on the Lockheed F-35 fighter aircraft in particular the General Confederation of Italian Workers (CGIL) thinks “it essential to rethink the purchase of the F-35. For some time, we have considered that investing in weapon systems whose intellectual property is the sole preserve of foreign countries is not beneficial for the country”.
“We learn that the rethinking of U.S. fighter-bombers, however, does not provide for the strengthening of the platform and the Eurofighter in spending cuts, we intend to eliminate the research on the Force Nek. Being directly involved in the domestic industry through Finmeccanica, we believe it is necessary that the President of the Council begins debate on a public holding company in order to define in a clear and transparent policy on defense and missions of public companies that have a role in industrial Featured in this segment,” they said in a statement.
An analysis of the costs and risks “argues for a significant reduction in the outline of the deal with Lockheed Martin for the F-35 program,” lawmaker Gian Piero Scanu said on behalf of Renzi’s Democratic Party in written recommendations for parliament’s Defense Commission. Scanu cited a public backlash against the F-35, reports of technical problems and concerns the order won’t create enough employment in Italy.
Meanwhile, defense Minister Roberta Pinotti is reviewing the broader military budget in a bid to find 3 billion euros ($4 billion) of savings over three years. Earlier this week, Renzi said cuts would be made, without giving details.
Italy's order for 90 radar-evading planes will cost approximately 12 billion euros. The order has already been reduced from 131 aircraft and many in Renzi's centre-left Democratic Party (PD), as well as in opposition parties, would like to see it cut still further or scrapped altogether.
The F-35, designed to be the next-generation fighter for decades to come for U.S. forces and their allies in NATO, has been hit by technical faults and is several years behind schedule and 70 percent above early cost estimates.