Here are the photographs of the first “operational” F-35A outside of the US landing in Italy

On Monday, Italy became the first country to operate the F-35 outside of the U.S. when two aircraft landed at the first F-35 base in Europe. Here are the first photographs.

As reported yesterday, on Dec. 12, 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 at Amendola airbase, in southeastern Italy, becoming the very first service to take delivery of the 5th generation stealth jet outside of the U.S.

The two aircraft, that were flown to Amendola by two ItAF pilots, will now be involved in the flying activities required to achieve the IOC (Initial Operational Capability) with the type.

Here are the photographs showing the first two F-35s arriving at Amendola (the first European airbase to receive the JSF) on Monday.

Image credit: Troupe Azzura, ItAF





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.


    • It’s already much better then everything we got so far. Tornado, EF, the Vipers and whatnot even if the turkeys that come out of Cameri are pretty much “simpler” IOC’ed F35.
      The guys here in Gioia del Colle (Typhoon pilots, mostly) pretty much admitted it’s like 25 years ahead of EF. There’s hardly any competition and we’re not even talking about block 3F (unrestricted CLAWs; HMDs in its final form, bla bla plethora more).

      Besides, we locally produce the F35A at a lower fly-away cost then anything we could buy bar the Gripen NG (that for the love of god, leave it to the Swedish).
      With the added plus it’s a goldmine because of the FACO (the only one in the whole Europe).

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