The first wing box manufactured in Italy and intended for an F-35A made its entrance in Fort Worth, in the production line of the F-35. This is a real milestone in the collaboration between Lockheed Martin and Alenia Aermacchi under the program.
Finmeccanica - Alenia Aermacchi has entirely produced the wing of the aircraft at the FACO plant (Final Assembly and Check Out - Final assembly) of Cameri.
The inclusion in the assembly station and electronic link (EMAS - Electronic Mate and Assembly), where the front part of the fuselage, the wing box and the rear part of the fuselage are assembled, represented a very important production event for Finmeccanica - Alenia Aermacchi , which has demonstrated the high technical capabilities of intervention in a fundamental phase of the "F-35" program and, at the same time, underlining the key involvement of the Italian aerospace sector.
Since the beginning of the program, Italian industry has positively influenced the potential and design capabilities of the aircraft. "Italian-made parts and components have been installed on all the" F-35 "products," said Jack Crisler, Vice President Commercial Development for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. I believe that the Italian industry, for the next thirty years and beyond, will be able to make its own contribution to the "F-35" program, starting from the manufacture of the components up to the final assembly of the aircraft, as well as to the supply of the spare parts and regional support.
The work entrusted to Finmeccanica - Alenia Aermacchi, strategic co-supplier of the entire "F-35A" wing box, is one of the largest production projects related to the Italian "F-35" program and involves the assembly of ben 835 complete wing boxes The FACO Cameri plant is owned by the Italian government and is managed by Finmeccanica - Alenia Aermacchi in collaboration with Lockheed Martin The production operations relating to the "F-35" program at the site were started in 2013 and led to the presentation, in March, of the first Italian aircraft "F-35A" (called "AL-1"). The first scheduled flight will take place later in the year. Under the program, the Cameri plant will assemble the "F-35A" (conventional take-off and landing model) and the "F-35B" (short take-off and vertical landing model) destined for Italy. , the assembly of the "F-35A" aircraft for the Netherlands is planned. The "F-35" will replace the "AV-8 Harrier", "Panavia Tornado" and "AMX" of the Italian Air Force and Navy.
Source: Lockheed Martin