The Italian Air Force F-35A Lightning II fifth-generation fighter jets at the Luke Air Force Base, USA have reached 2,000 flight hours, F-35 Joint Program Office announced.
The training partnership between the Italian Air Force and the U.S. Air Force’s Luke AFB in Arizona ensures Italian personnel are ready for F-35A operations and strengthens the F-35 relationship between the U.S. and Italy.
Partner Milestone ⚡ The @ItalianAirForce F-35As at @LukeAFB reached 2,000 flight hours! The training partnership between the Italian Air Force and Luke ensures Italian personnel are ready for #F35A operations and strengthens the #F35 relationship between the U.S. and Italy. pic.twitter.com/J7VVofnVf3
— F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office (@theF35JPO) May 13, 2020
Italy is reportedly planning to order 90 F-35s, including 60 F-35As and 30 F-35Bs. Out of the 30 F-35Bs, 15 are planned for the Italian Navy.
Italian F-35 procurement timelines:
On September 7, 2015, AL-1, the first-ever Italian-produced F-35, took the first international flight in F-35 program history.
In February 2016, AL-1 made the program’s first transatlantic crossing.
Italy began operations of their first four F-35s in 2016 at Luke AFB where pilots and maintainers from F-35 partner countries around the world receive training.
In December 2016, the Italian Air Force’s first F-35s arrived at the first in-country base, Amendola Air Base.
In October 2017, the first Italian-produced F-35B model took to the skies and was delivered to the Italian Navy in January 2018.
The Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare) has declared Initial Operating Capability (IOC) of its F-35A Lightning II stealth fighter jet fleet on Nov. 30, 2018.