Thursday, September 10, 2015

Italian-made F-35 takes flight

CAMERI AIR BASE, Italy -- Italy's first F-35A Lightning II, assembled at the Cameri Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility, flew for the first time Monday. The flight was an hour and 22 minutes. The Cameri FACO is owned by the Italian government and operated by Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi in association with Lockheed Martin. F-35 production began in July 2013 and rolled out of Italy's first F-35A, AL-1, was in March. AL-1's official delivery to Italy is expected by the end of the year. The facility will assemble Italy’s F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variant and the F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing variant, and is planned to assemble the Royal Netherlands Air Force’s F-35A aircraft. The F-35A and F-35B will replace Italian Air Force and Italian Navy AV-8 Harriers, Panavia Tornados and AMX fighters. (Source: Lockheed, 09/07/15) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.