Italians Roll Out First F-35A

Italy rolled out its first F-35A from a facility in Cameri, Italy, on March 12, marking the completion of the first F-35A assembled internationally, according to a company release. Aircraft AL-1 moves from the Italian Ministry of Defense’s final assembly and check out facility to additional check out inspections, then first flight later this year, Lockheed Martin officials said. The F-35 is the first of eight on order for the Italians, and the Cameri facility is also home to the European F-35 maintenance overhaul and upgrade center. In addition to the Italian F-35A and F-35B airframes, the Cameri facility is expected to build F-35As for the Royal Netherlands Air Force and could be tapped to produce airframes for other European countries as needed. The Italians are replacing their Panavia Tornado, AMX ground attack, and AV-8B aircraft with F-35s.