The first pair of F-35A stealth fighter jets have landed in Amendola AB marking a new milestone for Italian Air Force.

F-35 Italian Air Force 32nd Wing Amendola AB

Dec.12, 2016 - The first two F-35A were delivered to 32nd Wing of the Italian Air Force based at Amendola AB.
The two aircraft took off from Cameri AB where there were the two aircraft delivered to Israeli Air Force on the same day.
On their arrival F-35s were greeted by a strictly private ceremony to keep a ‘low profile’.

F-35 Italian Air Force 32nd Wing Amendola AB

F-35 Italian Air Force 32nd Wing Amendola AB

This event marks another milestone for the Italian Air Force, currently being Italy the first european country to reach the operating level with the aircraft. The delivery flight was carried out by Commander of the 32nd Wing and Commander of the 13th Flight Sqn.

Italy was the first nation to take flight an F-35 outside of the US and the first ever to play a flight across the Atlantic.

The two F-35A will be assigned to the recently reconstituted 13th Flight Squadron.

F-35 Italian Air Force 32nd Wing Amendola AB

Six F-35A were assembled at the Italian FACO (Final Assembly and Check Out) in Cameri, four of which will remain at US Luke Air Base for pilot training.

The Program "F-35 Lightning II - JSF (Joint Strike Fighter)" has the objective to develop and produce a new generation combat weapon system. The primary need of Italy is to replace the AV-8B Harrier aircraft of the Italian Navy and AMX and Tornado of Italian AF, from the middle of the next decade.

The project also provides important opportunities for Italian industry, in terms of industrial participation in the program and transfer of technologies.
The final assembly line, maintenance and upgrade of the aircraft, was made in Cameri AB (the only one outside the United States).
This ensuring to Italy strategic importance and prestige in the F-35 program.

Pics: Troupe Azzurra - Aeronautica Militare Italiana
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