Lockheed Martin F-35A/B Lightning II operations for Italy are now a standard practice, with the country being the first European nation to operate the F-35A in 2016, achieving Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in 2018 and looking to reach FOC in December 2023. Joe Campion explores the country’s future plans for the next-generation aircraft
Out of 90 F-35s ordered, 23 have been delivered, comprising 17 F-35A models and six F-35Bs. Italy has 62 pilots currently trained for the type, along with more than 530 maintainers.
As such, the AM has an enviable expertise in F-35 operations and remains a reference point for other users. However, Lt Gen Goretti said: “We are constantly evolving and moving forward to ensure our ability to meet the challenges ahead and to provide all the tools to best train the AM in the operation of the most advanced fighter in the world.”