The FACO of Cameri to assemble 29 F-35A fighters for RNlAF.

Italy begins work first Dutch F-35
Italy begins work on first Dutch F-35.

The Dutch Defense Secretary Barbara Visser symbolically started the italian assembly line for the first RNlAF F-35A on June 15, 2018. During her visit to the FACO in Cameri, she placed a signature on a part of the AN-9 aircraft.

The Italian plant will assemble 29 aircraft for the Netherlands. The first 8 planes were assigned to the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, United States, which has already delivered the first 2 (AN-1 and AN-2) and will deliver the remaining 6 by 2019. According to the Dutch Defense, AN-9 will be completed in February 2019 before to start test flights in Italy and be sent to the Netherlands around October 2019. It will be the first F-35 to arrive in the Netherlands and it will be based in Leeuwarden.

The first two Dutch F-35s assembled in the U.S. currently fly out Edwards AFB as test aircraft. In May 2016, they landed on Dutch soil for the first time, showing the nation their new 5th Gen fighters. While in the Netherlands, the F-35 performed several "experience flights" to allow the Dutch public to evaluate the difference between the F-35 and legacy fighters, the F-16, noise levels. They also performed a powerful tactical demonstration during the Luchtmachtdagen 2016 airshow.

The FACO of Cameri has already produced 10 F-35As for the Italian Air Force and 1 F-35B for the Italian Navy.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Source, Image: Dutch Ministry of Defence

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