First F-35B Assembled Outside US Successfully Delivered

First F-35B Assembled Outside US Successfully Delivered. A facility operated by Leonardo in Italy delivered the first F-35B assembled outside Lockheed Martin's main combat plant in Fort Worth, Texas, the US automaker announced on January 25.

The F-35B becomes the tenth Lightning II fighter to be delivered from the assembly and final verification facility (FACO) in Cameri, Italy, including nine previous F-35A delivered since December 2015, says Lockheed.

f-35b us marines

First F-35B Assembled Outside US Successfully Delivered

The first F-35B left the Italian FACO last May and achieved a first flight in October. The latest installment is significant because the F-35B, which includes a short landing and vertical landing propulsion system, represents the most complicated of the three versions of the Lightning II, says Doug Wilhelm, vice president of Lockheed for the administration of the F-program. 35

In addition to delivering orders from the Italian Army's F-35, the FACO in Cameri will also build 29 of the F-35A ordered by the Royal Netherlands Air Force, says Lockheed.

The Japanese government also financed a third FACO in Nagoya to build 38 of its 42 F-35As per order. The first F-35A assembled in Japan was presented at a ceremony in Nagoya last June.

Leonardo is an Italian high-tech company and one of the main players in the aerospace, defense and security industry. Based in Rome, the company has 180 sites worldwide. It is the ninth largest defense contractor in the world based on 2014 revenues. The company is partially owned by the Italian government through the Ministry of Economy and Finance, which owns 30.2% of the company's shares and is its largest shareholder.