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Italy's first F-35A rolls out of Cameri production facility

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Italy's first built F-35A, aircraft AL-1, which will also be the first jet operated by the Italian Air Force, rolls out from the Cameri, Italy Final Assembly & Check Out (FACO) facility, Mar. 12. A Lockheed Martin photo by Larry Bramblett.

CAMERI, ITALY (BNS): Lockheed Martin has rolled out the first Italian F-35A Lightning II from the Cameri Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility, marking the first F-35A assembled internationally.

The first of eight aircraft currently being assembled, the F-35A designated as AL-1, will now proceed to additional check-out activities before its anticipated first flight later this year, Lockheed Marin said in a statement.

The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, advanced mission systems, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and cutting-edge sustainment.

The Italian F-35As and Bs will replace the legacy Panavia Tornado, AMX and AV-8B aircraft.

The FACO, owned by the Italian Ministry of Defence, and operated by Alenia Aermacchi in conjunction with Lockheed Martin will build all Italian F-35A and F-35B aircraft.

In December 2014, it was selected by the US Department of Defence as the F-35 Lightning II Heavy Airframe Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul and Upgrade facility for the European region.

"The Cameri FACO is truly a national crown jewel, currently assembling the first eight Italian F-35As and producing wings for all F-35As fleet-wide," said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and F-35 program manager.

"Additionally, as the European F-35 airframe Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul and Upgrade centre, it will generate thousands of long-term, high-tech jobs for the Italian people for decades. Lockheed Martin is proud of its relationship with Italy and values the highly-skilled Alenia Aermacchi workforce building this incredible jet," the statement said.

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