Italy, the F-35, and the United States

ITALY

Italian built, Italian operated, F-35A MM7359/32-09 outside barn 15 at Amendola Air Base, home of 32° Stormo. Riccardo Niccoli

MORE THAN in other country, in Italy the F-35 programme has undergone tremendous discussion, polemics, and has caused skirmishes between political parties; rather than a serious examination of the programme itself and the opportunities it presents.

As a reminder, Italy negotiated with the United States on the basis of acquiring 131 F-35 aircraft and building a Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) factory. The FACO is destined to produce all aircraft procured by both Italy and the Netherlands, and 1,215 wings or fuselage sections for Lockheed Martin.

Italian politics, American charm

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