The first Italian F-35A Lightning II left the Cameri plant. It is the first aircraft assembled internationally and the first of the eight aircraft under construction in Italy. The aircraft, designated as AL-1, will undergo inspection activities before the maiden flight scheduled for later this year.
The event is the result of the partnership between the Ministry of Defense, Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi and Lockheed Martin.
The Italian FACO (Final Assembly and Check Out) is owned by the Italian Ministry of Defense and is managed by Alenia Aermacchi in collaboration with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, with a workforce of over 750 specialists engaged in the production of aircraft and wing.
"The Cameri plant is a gem that is assembling the first eight F-35As and produces wings for the rest of the world fleet" - said Lorraine Martin, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin and program manager of the F-35. "It will generate thousands of highly specialized jobs for decades."
FACO will build all Italian F-35As and F-35Bs and Dutch F-35As. In December last year, Cameri was selected by the US Department of Defense as the European reference center for the maintenance, repair, overhaul and updating of the F-35s.
The 101 hectare area includes 22 buildings for over 300.000 square meters of covered workspace with 11 assembly stations and five maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade stations. The first complete wing section of an F-35A was recently completed and will soon be shipped to the Fort Worth, Texas, production line for final assembly.
Source: Lockheed Martin