The first F-35B assembled outside the United States, was delivered to the Italian Ministry of Defence and assigned to the Italian Navy this week.
General Claudio Graziano, Chief of Italian Defense General Staff; Admiral Valter Girardelli, Chief of the Italian Navy; Italian Air Force Lt. Gen. Francesco Langella, Director ARMAEREO; Air Commodore Charles Docherty, F-35 Joint Program Office; Filippo Bagnato, Director of Leonardo Aircraft Division; and Mr. Doug Wilhelm, Lockheed Martin F-35 Program Management Vice President, spoke at the milestone event.
“The production of the first F-35 B-model, the most technically complex variant, here at the Italian FACO is a testament to the outstanding capability and quality of the Italian aerospace industry,” Wilhelm said. “The Cameri FACO continues to prove itself as a European F-35 centre of excellence.”
To date, nine F-35As and one F-35B have been delivered from the Cameri FACO, which is the only F-35B production facility outside the United States. Four of those jets are now based at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, for international pilot training and five are at Amendola Air Base, Italy.
The Cameri FACO is also programmed to produce 29 F-35As for the Royal Netherlands Air Force and retains the capacity to deliver to other European partners in the future.