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Italy's F-35

The F-35 for Italy

The F-35 Revolutionary Multi-Service Design

One Aircraft – Three Variants

The F-35 family includes three variants: the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variant, the F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing variant, and the F-35C carrier variant. The variation between models allows military forces to achieve service-specific mission capability, while still taking advantage of the economies of scale that result from the parts and processes common to all three variants.

Leveraging the Economies of Scale and Commonality

Innovative Approach To Recapitalize Aging Aircraft Fleets

The F-35 was designed to recapitalize aging western fleets and counter emerging threats in an affordable manner by leveraging the economies of scale and the economies of commonality. Rather than developing individual aircraft for each U.S. service branch and the various international allies, the tri-variant F-35 is designed to replace no fewer than seven legacy aircraft systems – including the Tornado, the AMX Fighter Bomber, and the AV8B Harrier currently in operation. The program’s eight partner nations and two Foreign Military Sales countries have already announced plans to procure nearly 700 F-35s, while the overall program of record outlines the acquisition of more than 3,100 aircraft. This approach will ultimately yield lower development, operational, and sustainment costs than traditional recapitalization efforts.

Planned Italian Procurement

According to the official U.S. government program of record, Italy intends to procure a total of 90 F-35s. Under the current plan, Aeronautica Militare is programmed to receive 60 F-35A CTOLs and 15 F-35B STOVLs, while Marina Militare is programmed to acquire 15 F-35B STOVLs.

This new fleet of 90 F-35s would replace Italy’s 253 Panavia Tornados, AMX Fighter Bombers, and AV8B Harriers, resulting in enhanced operational capability, streamlined logistics and maintenance, common training curriculum, and lower operating and sustainment costs.

The first Italian-built F-35A, AL-1, rolled out of the Cameri, Italy, Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility in March 2015 and production continues today for Italian and Dutch aircraft.

Unprecedented 5th Generation Capabilities

A Quantum Leap in Air Dominance

The supersonic, multirole F-35 represents a quantum leap in air dominance capability. It combines 5th generation characteristics of radar-evading stealth, supersonic speed, and extreme agility with the most powerful and comprehensive integrated sensor package of any fighter aircraft in history.

Advanced mission systems give the pilot real-time access to battle space information with spherical coverage and an unparalleled ability to dominate the tactical environment. Data collected by F-35 sensors can be immediately shared with commanders at sea, in the air, or on the ground, providing an instantaneous, high-fidelity view of ongoing operations – making the Lightning II a formidable force multiplier while enhancing coalition operations.

Supports All Italian Missions

• Maritime surveillance and patrol

• Protection of natural resources

• Air interdiction/defense

• Net-enabled for participation in expeditionary missions

• Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance

• F-35B – flexible basing options

Superior Interoperability

• Common capabilities

• Common infrastructure and logistics

• Common net-enabled operations

• Secure multinational information exchange

• Interoperable with legacy systems, weapons, and other defence networks

Strengthened Security Alliances

• Increased capability in defence of Italy

• Increased Italian joint training and exercises

• Increased Italian capability with NATO allies