F-35 - The Italian Perspective

Program progress, politics, orders, and speculation
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spazsinbad

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Unread post21 Oct 2020, 20:53

Italy’s Navy-Air Force tussle over the F-35 comes to a head
21 Oct 2020 Tom Kington

"ROME — A long-running tussle between Italy’s Air Force and Navy over the F35-B jet is coming to a head as deadlines approach for deciding who gets the next aircraft to roll off the production line and where it will be based. Italy’s planned order for 30 of the short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing aircraft is to be split by the services, with each receiving 15, in addition to the 60 F35-As ordered for the Air Force. After the first two of Italy’s F35-Bs went to the Navy and the third to the Air Force, a decision is due, possibly within weeks, on who gets the fourth one next year as the two military branches jostle for primacy on the program.

The Navy sees the “B” version as essential for replacing its aging AV-8 jets on its Cavour carrier, while the Air Force wants the jet for expeditionary missions overseas where it can be flown off short runways.

“There has been a tug of war between the Navy and the Air Force over who gets the jets first, but from a practical point of view the navy may have a right to the next one,” said Alessandro Marrone, senior fellow at the IAI think tank in Rome. “Once the Navy gets it, it will have three F35-Bs and can start operations from the Cavour, which will immediately boost its capabilities and make a difference to Italy’s military capabilities,” he added.

A senior defense source who backed the Navy to get the next jet said: “The Cavour already faces challenges deploying with the AV-8s, which do not have Link 11 and are due to end their operational life in 2025.” He added: “Carriers are often brought in at the very start of military operations and have to have maximum efficiency, and with Brexit approaching, Europe will lose U.K. carriers and can only rely on France’s Charles de Gaulle and Italy’s Cavour, which hosts obsolete aircraft.”...

...The two Navy F35-Bs were sent after delivery to the United States to participate in training at Beaufort Air Base in South Carolina and are due back in Italy at the end of 2021, the defense source said. In the meantime, the Cavour was due at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, in the United States in November to attain certification for hosting the F35-B with the help of U.S. test aircraft. The onset of the coronavirus pandemic has pushed the visit back to the spring of next year, the source said...." [then la-de-dah about where to base F-35Bs canvassed in earlier posts]

Source: https://www.defensenews.com/global/euro ... to-a-head/
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Corsair1963

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Unread post22 Oct 2020, 02:11

Another fight between respective Air Forces and Navies over the F-35B! Honestly, considering Italy only plans on acquiring just "30" aircraft. They should "all" go to the Italian Navy. As they would need every aircraft just to support the INS Cavour (CV) and INS Trieste (LHD).


If, the Italian Air Force wants the F-35B in addition to their F-35A. They should take less of the latter or buy additional F-35B's.
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Unread post28 Oct 2020, 18:55

Italy defense budget rebounds despite coronavirus crisis
28 Oct 2020 Tom Kington

"...The budget was drawn up by defense minister Lorenzo Guerini, a member of the center-left Democratic Party which governs in a coalition government with the anti-establishment Five Star party. Since first entering government in 2018, Five Star has softened its anti-military stance, which saw it initially push to scrap the F-35 program.

This year, the F-35 program receives €800 million to help conclude the purchase of the first 28 of Italy’s planned 90 aircraft buy. A further €126 million is also budgeted to get the purchase of the next 27 aircraft underway...."

Source: https://www.defensenews.com/global/euro ... id-crisis/
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