Italy to become main European F-35 hub

Italy is to become the future Mecca of Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) in Europe, it was decided last week. Turkey, Norway and the Netherlands are set to house maintenance facilities for the fighter aircraft’s Pratt and Whitney F-135 engine.

The assignments are based on data compiled and analyzed by the F-35 Joint Program Office that was collected from European Partners and their industries. These initial assignments will be reviewed and updated in approximately five years.

Work on F-35s by Italian company aircraft company Alenia Aermacchi – part of Finmeccanica – should commence in 2018. Should additional airframe MRO capability be required, the UK is to be assigned to supplement the existing capability. In the European region, engine heavy maintenance will initially be provided by Turkey, also in 2018, with Norway and the Netherlands providing additional capability approximately 2-3 years after Turkey’s initial capability.

Source: Lockheed Martin

The first Royal Netherlands Air Force F-35 Lightning II (JSF) when it was rolled out of the Lockheed Martin manufactuering plant at Forth Worth, Texas, April 4th, 2012. (Image © Lockheed Martin)
The first Royal Netherlands Air Force F-35 Lightning II (JSF) when it was rolled out of the Lockheed Martin manufacturing plant at Forth Worth, Texas, April 4th, 2012. (Image © Lockheed Martin)