First Italian-built Dutch F-35A is on delivery

Dutch F-35A delivery Leeuwarden
First Italian-built Dutch F-35A is on delivery.

October 30, 2019 - Leeuwarden Air Base, The Netherlands, will receive its first F-35A tomorrow. The fifth generation fighter aircraft (AN-9) will take off in the early afternoon from the Final Assembly and Check-Out (FACO) in Cameri, Italy, and will arrive at its destination around 3:00 pm LT. The event will be broadcast live at this link.

AN-9 is the first Dutch Lightening II jet assembled in Italy and the ninth produced for the nation (out of a total of 37 ordered). Six other aircraft are being assembled at Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth facility in the United States while the first two F-35s produced there are conducting flight tests at Edwards AFB, California. The other six will instead be deployed to Luke AFB for pilot training.

The remaining 28 F-35As for the Royal Netherlands Air Force will be built in Cameri which has already assembled 14 F-35s for the Italian armed forces. The Netherlands is expected to order an additional 9 Lightning IIs soon under the plan recently announced by the Dutch government.

To date eleven F-35As and two F-35Bs have been delivered by FACO-Cameri, the only F-35 production facility located outside U.S.; six of them are currently stationed at Luke AFB, Arizona, and MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina, in accordance with the international pilot training programme, while seven are stationed at Amendola Air Force Base, Italy. In addition, a third Italian F-35B is currently conducting flight tests.

Written by Matteo Sanzani

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