Italian F-35B
Copyright: G.Clemente

Two more F-35 for italian defence, while Belgium is ready to order it

Notwithstanding the uncertainties affecting the Italian Joint Strike Fighter program, fueled by declarations of new Government’s exponents, the production lots contracted and financed by the Italian Defense up to the LRIP 14 (Low Rate Initial Production), the F.A.C.O.plant located at Cameri, Novara province  continues its work of supplying wing boxes for the entire JSF supply program, the assembly of new aircrafts, including those destined for RNLAF and the first maintenance work at an Italian Air Force F-35A.

On the 15th and 16th of October, the eleventh F-35A Lightning II serialled 32-11 and the second of thirty  F-35B for now in order kept their maiden flights. The first F-35B Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) Lightning II version was assigned to the Naval Aviation. BL-2 is currently flying test and evaluation flights without any visible sign of the final armed force to which it will be assigned.

Test flights and certification of the two machines will continue until the final delivery to the Italian Defense. Currently, Italian Air Force and Italian Navy received 10 F-35A and 1 F-35B.

And are of today the international news about the new belgian aircraft that will replace ageing fleet of american F-16 Fighting Falcon jets: it will be F-35 in a deal of more than 6 billion dollars. The Ministry of Defence has not officially confirmed yet.

This sale of F-35s will provide Belgium with a credible defense capability to deter aggression in the region and ensure interoperability with U.S. forces.  The proposed sale will augment Belgium’s operational aircraft inventory and enhance its air-to-air and air-to-ground self-defense capability.

Belgium will have no difficulty absorbing these aircraft into its armed forces and the integration with Netherlands and Denmark continues: all the three air forces had the F-16 as workhorse since decades and the F-35, ordered by all of them continues the interoperability and common efficiency of each fleet.

Article: Gianluca Conversi
Immagini: S. Marzorati/GLC