The Chief of Staff of the Italian Air Force announced the important F-35 milestone in Amendolo last week.
“Today is an important day for the Italian Air Force”, declared the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, during a meeting with the press.
“With the achievement of the Initial Operational Capability of our F-35 we are able to express – first in Europe – a real operational capacity with a 5th generation machine, which means the capacity of a system consisting of several aircraft, trained crews to use them, from sustainable maintenance and logistic support over time.
We must be proud of this goal, achieved thanks to the work of those who preceded us and those who every day – with commitment, heart and passion – has allowed to achieve incredible results, even in advance compared to what was foreseen.
Amendola is today an excellence for the Defense and for the Country System as it contains a series of projection capabilities towards the future that are unique in Europe. It represents at the best the generational leap that we are experiencing, in which the determining factor is the integration between technology and human element, both in the training and in the operative field.”
In September 2015, AL-1, the first-ever Italian-produced F-35, took the first international flight in F-35 programme history. In February 2016, AL-1 made the program’s first transatlantic crossing. In December 2016, the Italian Air Force’s first F-35s arrived at the first in-country base, Amendola Air Base. In October 2017, the first Italian-produced F-35B model took to the skies and was delivered to the Italian Navy in January 2018.