Italy’s F-35 Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) assembly line at Cameri Air Base has started offering F-35 factory support.
This is an important development since the Air Base is the only F-35 maintenance, repair, and upgrade center located in Cameri, Europe.
Incidentally, the final assembly line for Italian F-35s was placed at Cameri way back in 2015. The facility is owned by the Italian government and is operated by Leonardo in partnership with Lockheed Martin. It is one of two FACO lines operating the F-35 outside the US; the other site is located in Japan.
In an effort to attract even more defense related investment, the Italians are now wanting to assemble F-35s from other European nations as well. So far, they have managed to get the Dutch and the Swiss to agree to their proposal.
Earlier this year, a delegation from Germany visited Cameri with Berlin showing signs of ordering the F-35. According to media reports from Greece, “the Greek F-35s will be addressed to the same facility for factory maintenance requirements”.
Earlier last month, through an official letter Greece had requested the purchase of 40 F-35A stealth fighters, 20 of which have been identified while the balance yet to be decided. Greece has officially requested the purchase of the F-35 and the letter has been handed over to US authorities.
In the near future, it is likely that personnels from Greek’s Minister of Defense along with high-ranking military officials will travel to the United States to speed up the purchase.
Last year on January 25, 2021, Greece had signed a contract with France for the purchase of 18 Rafale fighter planes. This number was later increased to 24 with the purchase of an additional 6 planes. Dassault Rafale is schedule to deliver 40 Rafale fighter jets to the Greek Air Force by 2025.
The Rafale is a 4.5 generation fighter plane and comes equipped with AESA radar. Greece will also receive “SCALP Cruise Missile, Exocet Anti-Ship Missile, MICA air-to-air missile. As well as METEOR RamJet air-to-air propulsion rockets”.