Jun 1, 2015

Italian Budget Protects JSF Buy

Italy appears set to push ahead with its order of 90 F-35 joint strike fighters, and has said it will buy 38 by 2020, despite simmering pressure from politicians to trim the program.
In its definitive budget plan for 2015, published in May, the Italian Ministry of Defense said it would spend €582.7 million (US $634.3 million) to maintain JSF purchases this year. So far, Italy has ordered eight F-35As, including three from low rate initial production (LRIP) lot 6 for delivery this year and next year, three from LRIP 7 for delivery next year, and two from LRIP 8 for delivery in 2017.
In March, the first JSF rolled off the assembly line built at Cameri in northern Italy, making it the first JSF assembled outside the US.
Italy's stated ambition to order 38 aircraft by 2020 follows criticism of the program by Prime Minister, who said the JSF program would be "revised" after he took office last year.

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