Italy becomes first to operate the F-35 outside the US

Production milestones, roll-outs, test flights, service introduction and other milestones.
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Dragon029

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Unread post16 Dec 2016, 04:41

I'm surprised they kept it so low-key:

https://theaviationist.com/2016/12/15/i ... f-the-u-s/

Italy has become the first country to operate the F-35 outside of the U.S.

By David Cenciotti

Actually, the Italian (not the Israeli) Air Force has been the first service to take delivery of the first operational F-35s outside the United States.

On Dec. 12, whilst several Israeli and international media outlets focused on the delivery of the first F-35I “Adir” to Nevatim airbase (delayed by some 6 hours because of fog) highlighting how Israel had just become “the first country after the US” to get the new plane, far from the spotlight, the 13° Gruppo (Squadron) of the 32° Stormo (Wing) of the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force, ItAF) received its first two F-35A Lightning II, becoming the very first country to take delivery of the 5th generation stealth jet outside of the U.S.

Noteworthy, the delivery flight was carried out by two Italian military pilots (the Israeli planes were flown by Lockheed Martin pilots) who flew their two JSFs (Joint Strike Fighters) to Amendola, where the aircraft landed in the early afternoon on Monday.

Indeed, whereas the arrival of the first Israeli or Dutch F-35s got a significant media coverage (with constant updates, - on social media, etc.), the Italian Air Force has kept a very “low profile” about its achievements with the F-35 so far.

However, Italy has made some significant work on the Lightning II: on Dec. 3, 2015, the ItAF welcomed the first F-35 at the Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility at Cameri, in northwestern Italy. That aircraft was also the first assembled and delivered outside the U.S.

Then, on Feb. 5, 2016 the first Italian Air Force F-35, successfully completed the type’s very first transatlantic crossing landing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. To prepare for the 7-hour transoceanic flight the Italian Air Force conducted tanker trials in the U.S. (in July 2015) with its KC-767A, that became the first tanker not operated by the U.S. Air Force to undergo refueling certification trials with an F-35.

Three Italian F-35s are currently deployed at Luke’s multinational F-35 pilot training centre.

And, as explained mentioned, on Dec. 12, the first two aircraft (reportedly AL-5 and AL-6) arrived at their operational base in southeastern Italy.

The F-35 is for sure the most famous (and controversial) defense program in Italy.

For the moment, Rome’s plan is to procure 90 F-35 to replace the ItAF’s ageing AMX and Tornado and the Italian Navy’s AV-8B+ Harrier jump jets.
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bojack_horseman

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Unread post16 Dec 2016, 11:41

Dragon029 wrote:I'm surprised they kept it so low-key


That's politics for you.

The Lightning is vociferously opposed by the leading opposition parties who are 'friendly' with the Kremlin (if you know what I mean).

Considering the constant state of political turmoil there I can understand why they keep potentially controversial (however contrived that controversy might be) purchases on the down-low.
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XanderCrews

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Unread post16 Dec 2016, 16:24

One could argue its better to keep things low key and then when it gets brought up the response can be:

Oh that? its been here for years now LOL
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Unread post16 Dec 2016, 16:30

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Unread post17 Dec 2016, 00:22

An even more accurate and informative headline...
First F-35s Built Outside of US Go Operational in Italy
16 Dec 2016 Tom Kington

"ROME — Italy has taken delivery of two F-35 jets at its Amendola Air Base — the first joint strike fighters built outside the US to become operational. The jets were flown to Amendola in southern Italy on Dec. 12 from Italy’s F-35 final assembly and maintenance line in Cameri in northern Italy, a defense source told Defense News.

The deliveries happened on the same day that Israel received its first F-35s, which were assembled in the US. “The Italian jets also touched down at Amendola shortly before the Israeli jets arrived in Israel,” the source said.

Italy has to date rolled out six F-35s at Cameri, with the first four flying to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona to take part in pilot training. On Dec. 12, one of the jets making the hourlong flight to Amendola was flown by Wing Commander Andrea Argieri, while the other was flown by the squadron commander, who the source did not name...."

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/articles/fir ... l-in-italy
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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popcorn

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Unread post17 Dec 2016, 00:25

Props to the Italians. I doubt it was coincidence their jets touched down just before the Israeli jets. :D
Last edited by popcorn on 17 Dec 2016, 03:57, edited 1 time in total.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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Unread post17 Dec 2016, 03:16

popcorn wrote:Props to the Italians. I doubt it was coincidence their jets touched down just before the Israelu jets. :D


I'm just happy to say there are now 2 foreign operators. Hi Canada.
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Unread post17 Dec 2016, 04:33

Heheh - plus USMC & USAF IOC - :devil: PRUDENCE es&d! :devil:
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post17 Dec 2016, 05:17

“It will first of all be about survival. Do you want to be the Eagle or the Chicken in an airpower confrontation?"
- Lt.Gen. Pasquale Preziosa, Italian AF CoS, on F-35 acquisition in Oct. 2013

To be or not to be ...Oh Canada :D
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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ngroot0

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Unread post17 Dec 2016, 12:30

spazsinbad wrote:An even more accurate and informative headline...
First F-35s Built Outside of US Go Operational in Italy
16 Dec 2016 Tom Kington

...
[b]Italy has to date rolled out six F-35s at Cameri, ...


Seven actually. AL-7, MM7357/32-07 had its first flight November 29th, 2016.
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Unread post19 Dec 2016, 04:03

bojack_horseman wrote:
Dragon029 wrote:I'm surprised they kept it so low-key


That's politics for you.

The Lightning is vociferously opposed by the leading opposition parties who are 'friendly' with the Kremlin (if you know what I mean).

Considering the constant state of political turmoil there I can understand why they keep potentially controversial (however contrived that controversy might be) purchases on the down-low.



No, lol, thanks the lord that's not the reason.

First of all, we're still in the midst of the chaos left by that clown knwn as Matteo Renzi, whining like a kid because he lost a referendum like it was a political election.

To add insult to injury, Rome is in the middle of another Shitstorm and that's because our mighty Virginia Raggi, which happens to be the major of the worst city in the whole west, happend to make things worse. It's quite a feature. Unluckily for our capitol city, this gal isn't as good as she's hot looking.

About the F35 and the hostility toward it: it's a bit complex, my english is not good enough so i'll try to make it as short as possible.
Basically, most of the criticism regarding the F35 came out from Movimento 5 Stelle and SEL (a small left party). The reasoning was solid tho: instead of letting Monti (at the time, our prime minister) to ravage the social welfare we should've saved the money we needed(7-10 bilions of euros to avoid defaulting) by suppressing the F35 deal (35B euros spent that far).

Those guys from M5S and SEL failed to quantify the benefits of the FACO facility in Cameri and the money return generated by it. Now it feeds, directly and indirectly, over 10.000 jobs that reach far beyond the military industry.

Our ties with the Kermlin were more of a "bonus" from the personal relationship that Berlusconi held with Putin. While we're still quite friendly (we host lot of rich russians in Tuscany, Forte dei Marmi mostly) those ties loosened up a bit.
The mega gas/oil pipeline was honestly a neat project that could've really helped our internal economy.


Going back on topic.
I'm very happy for those new little turkeys to spread their wings(too small, so it can turn ofc) in my own country. Now, if we could be so wise to not let those aircraft to rot under several layers of dust would be just great!
I mean, we can't be so shameless to have 5th generation birds at our disposal and still deploy Tornados.
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Unread post09 Apr 2018, 11:11

Italian Air Force F-35A Lightning II Aircraft Have Completed Their First Deployment To “Deci”
07 Apr 2018 David Cenciotti

"Four ItAF stealth jets have completed their first training campaign in Sardinia.

Last month, four F-35A aircraft with the 13° Gruppo (Squadron) of the 32° Stormo (Wing) from Amendola, in southeastern Italy, have deployed to Decimomannu airbase, in Sardinia, to undertake training activities that have lasted about two weeks. According to what local photographers and spotters observed, the aircraft arrived on Mar. 7 and departed to return to Amendola between Mar. 22 and 23....

...Noteworthy, whilst it was the first full-fledged F-35 deployment to “Deci”, the deployment did not mark the first landing in Deci: on Oct. 26, 2017, two F-35A Lightning II of the 13° Gruppo supported Capo Teulada’s amphibious landing (as proved by one of the videos published by the Italian MoD on the website dedicated to the JS17 exercise), before landing, for the very first time, at Decimomannu airbase."

Source: https://theaviationist.com/2018/04/07/i ... t-to-deci/

RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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sunstersun

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Unread post10 Apr 2018, 01:57

It's insane how quiet the media attention is around Italy and the F-35.
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Unread post11 Apr 2018, 02:02

sunstersun wrote:It's insane how quiet the media attention is around Italy and the F-35.

More pressing matters and we're historically not much into military things.

Otoh, we did not had a blatant anti f35 campaign either.

Furthermore, the media only cover politics, sport and gossip news.

I.e: 0 words on Rome being selected to host a 500M euro prototypical fusion powerplant.
Like, are they fking serious there?

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