primo volo F-35B italiano
Copyright: Aviation Report Archive / Gianluca Conversi

Italian Air Force receives its first F-35B Lightning II

On Saturday 22, the third F-35B Lightnng II ordered by the Italian Defense left the production site located at Cameri (NO), being commissioned by the Italian Air Force. Italian Air Force has plans for 15 F-35B and Italian Navy will receive similar numbers for its Naval Aviation Group “Wolves”.

During the first steps of the JSF program, Italy planned to received 131 aircrafts: 79 F-35A and 30 F-35B for the Italian Air Force, 22 to be commissioned by the Italian Navy to to be boarded on the aircraft Carrier “Cavour” an future flat deck assault ship “Trieste”. With a decision made by the former Government Monti in 2012, the aquisition plan has been reduced to 60 F-35A and 30 F-35B, 15 per each armed force.

Meanwhile, the 12th F-35A (32-12) flown its maiden flight and it is still waiting to be officially commissioned by the Italian Air Force. Italy has plans to receive 3 F-35A and 1 F-35B in 2020. The production plant o Cameri is also producing 34 F-35A for the Royal Netherlands Air Force, 2 of them already delivered.

Program status Lockheed Martin delivered the 134th F-35 aircraft for the year today, exceeding the joint government and industry 2019 delivery goal of 131 aircraft. One hundred and thirty-four deliveries represent a 47% increase from 2018 and nearly a 200 percent production increase from 2016. Next year, Lockheed Martin plans to deliver 141 F-35s and is prepared to increase production volume year-over-year to hit peak production in 2023. The price of an F-35A is now $77.9M, meeting the $80M goal a year earlier than planned…. less than an improved european Eurofighter F-2000 Typhoon.

Article: Gianluca Conversi