Italian Facility Produces First F-35B

The first Italian-made F-35B rolled off the production line on Friday, marking the first time a short take-off/vertical landing variant was produced outside the US. The jet, built in a facility owned by the Italian Ministry of Defense and operated by Leonardo, will take its first flight in late August and will be delivered to the Italian military in November, according to a Lockheed Martin release. Italy has already received seven F-35As, four of which are based at Luke AFB, Ariz., for training. The Italian Final Assembly and Check Out facility in Cameri will produce 30 Italian F-35Bs and 60 Italian F-35As, along with 29 F-35As for the Royal Netherlands Air Force, the release states.