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Alan P

F-35 Discussion Thread. Please curb your political enthusiasm and play nicely.

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If we were to divide the total amount spent so far by the number of air-displays performed, I wonder what the result would be? :hmmm:

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According to this article the Italians are constructing their own F-35s in Italy.

https://www.f35.com/global/participation/italy-industrial-participation

Yet they are planning to purchase far fewer than the RAF. I assume because this is only the 'A' model. Yet, also according to F-35.com, BAe is the only 'Level 1' partner. We don't seem to be producing ours here.

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According to this article the Italians are constructing their own F-35s in Italy. Yet they are planning to purchase far fewer than the RAF. I assume because this is only the 'A' model. According to F-35.com, BAe is the only 'Level 1' partner. Yet we don't seem to be producing ours here. Is this indeed the case ?

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/italy-claims-first-f-35-transatlantic-crossing-421670/

The Italians are 'assembling' F-35 Lightning II airframes at a 'military facility' run by a civil company on the IAF Base at Cameri in Northern Italy near the city of Novara; very close to Malpensa-Milan Airport. They have stolen a march on the UK here in acquiring the rights to assemble F-35s in Europe and, I am presuming, have a major overhaul centre for the aircraft. In 2012 Italy stated it wished to acquire 90 F-35s, of which 30 are planned to be F-35Bs based at Amendola Air Force Base. Basing all F-35Bs at Amendola, alongside the IAF F-35As, is to save costs and meet security needs in respect of the F-35 infrastructure. (Information source - Air International July 2016)

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..thanks for that. Yes, it would appear that this facility will be the 'European' maintenance and overhaul centre for the life of the F-35. Presumably though not for the RAFs. But to state, as F-35.com does, that BAe is the only 'Level 1' partner on the programme is hardly the case then?

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I believe Israel requested and got permission to install some of theit own home-grown electronics in their F-35's. They're somewhat of a "special case" in that regard (as far as I'm aware).

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..thanks for that. Yes, it would appear that this facility will be the 'European' maintenance and overhaul centre for the life of the F-35. Presumably though not for the RAFs. But to state, as F-35.com does, that BAe is the only 'Level 1' partner on the programme is hardly the case then?

Italy is a level 2 partner, along with the Netherlands. The partnership levels were decided some time ago, and the UK was - and to date remains - the only Level 1 partner nation. There is some evidence to suggest that we will be the only level 1 partner, even if another nation turns up shouting 'Shut up and take my money!'.

Britain - not just BAE - is the only level one partner. As well as bringing/sustaining somewhere in the region of 25,000 jobs in the aerospace industry (level 2 partners estimate about 6,500 jobs), it gives us some er... interesting levels of influence in certain areas of the programme which are unlikely to be discussed in any great detail in Flight International any time soon, if I can put it like that.

You have to measure this in more than just the construction of the FACO facilities; the other partner nations had to be given some clear benefit for their not insignificant investment in the programme, which is what we see with the facility at Cameri. It might look like 'stealing a march' on BAE, but, with respect, it's a bit more subtle and complex than that.

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