Saturday, July 27, 2013
Assembly of the first F-35 to be produced outside the United States has begun in Italy at a 22-building complex with more than a million square feet of covered space. Manufacturers delivered major structural components to the new final assembly and check-out (FACO) facility at Cameri Air Base, west of Milan. The plant will assemble the first F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variant, designated AL-1, for the Italian air force and eventually those for the Netherlands, if that country confirms acquisitions. The plant is operated by a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Alenia Aermacchi. It will also build the wings for all F-35 partner nationals and other potential customers. (Source: AINonline, 07/26/13) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.