The first delivery of an F-35 outside the United States happened December 3 at the F-35 Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility in Cameri, Italy. The first Italian F-35A Lightning II for the Italian armed forces, known as AL-1, marked a production milestone for Italy’s national defense and aerospace industry.
«When Leonardo DaVinci first envisioned human flight as an Italian creation, there is no way he could have imagined what we have here today», said Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan, F-35 Joint Program Executive Officer. «The F-35 aircraft built here in Cameri will take flight on the wings of Italian craftsmanship, ingenuity, and skill and will help build the first global fleet of fifth generation fighters».
Italy is the sixth nation to receive an F-35 joining Australia, Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom and the United States with jets in their service’s inventory.
The F-35s being assembled and delivered at the Italian FACO will transition to Italy’s Aeronautica Militare (Air Force) and Marina Militare (Navy). AL-1 first rolled out of the production facility in March with first flight September 7, one month ahead of schedule. Italy’s first two pilots have begun F-35 flight training at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, where Cameri-built F-35As will be delivered in 2016 to support international pilot training.
«This is a monumental achievement for the F-35 program», said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin F-35 Program General Manager. «The F-35 provides Italy’s aerospace industry with high technology work, ensuring the future health and competitiveness for their defense industry. To date, Italian industry has contracts worth more than $1 billion, along with opportunities for additional work over the life of the program».
|Length||51.4 feet/15.7 m|
|Height||14.4 feet/4.38 m|
|Wingspan||35 feet/10.7 m|
|Wing area||460 feet2/42.7 m2|
|Horizontal tail span||22.5 feet/6.86 m|
|Weight empty||29,300 lbs/13,290 kg|
|Internal fuel capacity||18,250 lbs/8,278 kg|
|Weapons payload||18,000 lbs/8,160 kg|
|Maximum weight||70,000 lbs class/31,751 kg|
|Standard internal weapons load||Two AIM-120C air-to-air missiles|
|Two 2,000-pound/907 kg GBU-31 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) guided bombs|
|Propulsion (uninstalled thrust ratings)||F135-PW-100|
|Maximum Power (with afterburner)||43,000 lbs/191,3 kN/19,507 kgf|
|Military Power (without afterburner)||28,000 lbs/128,1 kN/13,063 kgf|
|Engine Length||220 in/5.59 m|
|Engine Inlet Diameter||46 in/1.17 m|
|Engine Maximum Diameter||51 in/1.30 m|
|Overall Pressure Ratio||28|
|Speed (full internal weapons load)||Mach 1.6 (~1,043 knots/1,200 mph/1,931 km/h)|
|Combat radius (internal fuel)||>590 NM/679 miles/1,093 km|
|Range (internal fuel)||>1,200 NM/1,367 miles/2,200 km|