First ever F-35 assembled internationally destined to Italy rolled out of Cameri facility

First Italian F-35A rolled out of Cameri facility.

On Mar. 12, the first F-35A Lightning II destined to the Italian Air Force rolled out of the Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility at Cameri, in northwestern Italy.

The aircraft, designated AL-1, is the first F-35A assembled internationally, the first of eight aircraft currently being assembled at Cameri, that will perform its first flight later this year.

The Italian FACO, a 101-acre facility including 22 buildings and more than one million square feet of covered work space, housing 11 assembly stations, and five maintenance, repair, overhaul, and upgrade bays, is owned by the Italian Ministry of Defense and is operated by Alenia Aermacchi in conjunction with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. According to Lockheed, the current workforce consist of more than 750 skilled personnel engaged in F-35 aircraft and wing production.

The FACO will assemble the first 8 Italian F-35As and the remaining F-35A and F-35B (for a total of 90 aircraft planned that should be procured by the Italian Air Force and Navy), will build F-35A for the Royal Netherlands Air Force and it was selected in December 2014 as the European F-35 airframe Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul and Upgrade center for the entire European region.

In spite of internal criticism and threatened cuts, F-35s will replace the Italian Air Force ageing Tornado and AMX attack planes and the Italian Navy AV-8B aircraft.


Image credit: Lockheed Martin


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. First off….Mostly made by LM/NGC Employees. Second, what the crap Italy? Is their a shortage of Nitrogen, service the main landing gear please, plane looks stupid like that. Also cool to see one before they get all LO’ed up. Just water-borne primer and Boot material. I guess they would be done with 4 of 5 by now, but half the work force is on holiday and the rest are taking a “siesta”.

    • ha ha crap Italy? LOL Italy is a superpower in the High technology worldwide ( Telespazio, Thales alenia Space, Galileo Global Satellite System, Half of the International Space Station was made for Italians with Italian tech in Turin!,Italy has one of the largest Space Agencies of the world! Italy has Vega Rocket and for 2018 will have the Vega Roket C made by Avio that is an Italian Company that make engine for Rockets Space that carry satellites for all the countries of the world! even Ariane will use Avio engine! . Italy Have the tech for carry Satellite in Mars!!!!,(exomars, Aurora programme) . the most advanced Human robot in Europe ICUB made by Italians, the supercomputers of Italy along with the Germans are the Most Fastest Supercomputers in Europe!!!! Comau robots are in use in all the world even in America and in Germany!. Italy have the tech for make Oil platforms! all the world use Saipem tech! and that is why is the leader worldwide!.

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