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.

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Steve R
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Steve R

Quite shocking and embarrassing that we’re a level 1 partner in this and yet dont have operational capability yet.

HMG need to pull their fingers out and take delivery of our own F35s much sooner.

BB85
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BB85

Is Italy still going ahead with its plans to order only 13 F35, 2 of which will be F35B? That’s one for each of their aircraft carriers.
The Netherlands must be cracking up if Italy maintains its production facilities to produce all 29 of their aircraft plus whatever Belgium and other European countries order with just a modest order for themselves.

Levi Goldsteinberg
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Levi Goldsteinberg

As far as I’ve read, Italy is committed to ordering 60 with currently 9 operational and, 2 more on order with 17 more ordered for delivery up to 2019. Rather like we’ve committed to 140 but have only ordered somewhere around 50 right now, with something like 20 delivered

BB85
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BB85

This is the article I’d read, there is one from Reuters too both mention this order for 17 to be delivered between 2020 and 2022 however it has not yet been placed, which means if Italy does cancel it they don’t need to go beyond the 12 or 13 they have currently ordered and will receive by the end of next year. There is bound to be repercussions though unless Italy has already sunk a lot of money into building the manufacturing facility that guarantee’s them the right to assemble the European F35A. It doesnt make them look too reliable… Read more »

Cam Hunter
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Cam Hunter

Britain should be building gbthem not Italy! Britains a bigger partner! What were they thinking!

Darren
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Darren

Yep Yep, but we have weak people and vested interests more than the others.

Oscar Zulu
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Oscar Zulu

In other JSF news the first two of the RAAF’s 72 F35A’s touched down at their new home at RAAF Williamtown today.

http://images.defence.gov.au/20181210raaf81652332_055.jpg

Australia currently has taken delivery of the first 10 aircraft (the arrivals are airframes 9 and 10) with the remaining 8 remaining at Luke AFB in Arizona for the time being as part of the international training pool.

Over 50 Australian companies are producing components for the F35 program with
production contracts to date totalling over AU$1.2 billion and more than 2,400 jobs created.

Darren
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Darren

Am I going to be the only one that makes a daft comment about that picture? Yes, you are. I think most know what will be said.