In the middle of last month, Italy opened its final assembly and check-out (FACO) line for the F-35, amid a backdrop of rising political disquiet about the nation’s commitment to the Joint Strike Fighter programme. If you missed it at the time, please see Luca Peruzzi’s article on the topic, which also details Rome’s expected €14.3 billion ($19 billion) spend on a planned fleet of 90 A- and B-model jets and related support.
Lockheed Martin produced a rather corporate video around the FACO opening event (above), with supporting comments coming from local industrial partners, including key player Alenia Aermacchi. Stick with it though, and there are some interesting views of the new, €800 million facility, which has been built on a secure site inside the Italian air force’s Cameri air base. If you’re wondering how it’s going to make a financial return, it is also expected to complete F-35As for the Netherlands, and provide support for several European JSF operators.