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.


    • They aren’t lemons. Give it time, these F-35s will be worth their cost….eventually. Mark my words, a decade from now you’ll have a different opinion of the F-35.

    • The engine is a lemon and is what’s causing most of the delays and all of the flight limits.

      That’s not Lockheed Martin’s fault but the Pentagon’s political meddling in a technical selection process. LM’s first choice was the GE/RR model.

  1. I read that things are just getting worse with it too. Apparently the software is still years away from being anywhere near ready. And it has the nasty tendancy to stall one wing before the other, among dozens of other issues. And it can only pull 3.5 Gs in a turn, the Cessna 172s that I fly can pull 4.4 Gs, Seruously, WTF.

  2. Just see “War is boring” :”F35 still years away from being ready for combat”
    All potential adversaries will wait happily a few years just out of fairness :))
    Even after that, there will be just too few of this miracle plane around, to do the job.

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