The first F-35 A Lightning II fighter built outside the US rolled out of Cameri Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility in Italy, Lockheed Martin said in a press release Thursday.
The roll-out marks the first F-35A assembled internationally and the first of eight aircraft currently being assembled in Italy. The aircraft, designated as AL-1, will now proceed to additional check-out activities before its anticipated first flight later this year.
The rollout exhibits the ongoing strong partnership between the Italian Ministry of Defense, industry partner Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi, and Lockheed Martin. The Italian FACO is owned by the Italian Ministry of Defense and is operated by Alenia Aermacchi in conjunction with Lockheed Martin with a current workforce of more than 750 skilled personnel engaged in F-35 aircraft and wing production.
"The Cameri FACO is currently assembling the first eight Italian F-35As and producing wings for all F-35As fleet-wide," said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and F-35 program manager.
"Additionally, as the European F-35 airframe Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul and Upgrade center, it will generate thousands of long-term, high-tech jobs for the Italian people for decades," he added.
The FACO will build all Italian F-35A and F-35B aircraft, is programmed to build F-35As for the Royal Netherlands Air Force and retains the capacity to deliver to other European partners in the future. In December 2014, it was selected by the U.S. Department of Defense as the F-35 Lightning II Heavy Airframe Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul and Upgrade facility for the European region.
Three distinct variants of the F-35 will replace the A-10 and F-16 for the U.S. Air Force, the F/A-18 for the US Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the U.S. Marine Corps, and a variety of fighters for at least 11 other countries. The Italian F-35As and Bs replace the legacy Panavia Tornado, AMX and AV-8B aircraft. More than 130 F-35s have been built and delivered fleet-wide and they have flown more than 28,500 flight hours.
Kitron will develop a test program set (TPS) for evaluating and troubleshooting F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft avionics under a four-year development contract awarded by Northrop Grumman Corporation. Kitron was selected as an international source for TPS equipment, which consists of complex Interface Test Assemblies that work with the LM-STAR test system developed by Lockheed Martin
The Pentagon's most expensive fighter F-35B is "incapable" of carrying the military's highly advanced bombs because of a design flaw, the joint program office confirmed this week. The F-35B's internal weapons bay is too small for a Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II) load, according to Inside Defense report
Israeli Defense Ministry announced Sunday that it has signed a $2.82 billion deal to procure 14 additional F-35 fighter jets from the US
Northrop Grumman has recently supplied the 1,000th AN/AAQ-37 Distributed Aperture System (DAS) sensor for integration on the F-35 Lightning II aircraft. The six infrared DAS sensors on the F-35 provide full spherical situational awareness to the pilot, day and night
Rolls-Royce has won a contract worth $442 million for initial production of 17 lift systems to be used in a US fighter jet, F-35B. Rolls-Royce said on Monday it agreed the contracts with Pratt & Witney, which builds the engine for the jet, in a deal which complied with a plan to reduce the cost of building the aircraft, according to Reuters
OCCAR announced Tuesday that Italy has placed its order for two further Italian FREMM (Fregata europea multi-missione) frigates, exercising an option under the OCCAR (French Organisation conjointe de coopération en matière d'armement) FREMM contract on 16 April. Both frigates will be in the general purpose configuration and will bring to ten the total number of vessels ordered by Italy under this highly successful contract
The Netherlands has signed a contract for its first eight operational Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft, which are to be delivered by 2019, the country's Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 26 March. In signing for the Royal Netherlands Air Force's (RNLAF's) initial aircraft, Dutch Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said that the country has now "passed the point of no return" in its commitment to the F-35 as a successor to the incumbent F-16
The US Department of Defense has extended testing to debug software flaws that must be fixed before the first F-35 is fully integrated into service. The Marine Corps expects its version of the F-35, the costliest U
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