Documentation of AF-88 1st full wing from Alenia being moved to and installed in the EMAS for joining to the forward, center and aft sections of the aircraft

FORT WORTH, Texas, May 26, 2015 – The first F-35A wing-set produced by Italy’s Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi entered the F-35 production line in Fort Worth, marking a milestone for the Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT)-Alenia Aermacchi collaboration on the program.

Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi produced the full wing-set at the F-35 Final Assembly & Check-Out (FACO) facility in Cameri, Italy. The entry into the Electronic Mate and Assembly (EMAS) – where the forward fuselage, wing-set and aft fuselage are joined, is an important production milestone for Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi’s F-35 program, exhibiting high performance on a vital part of the aircraft while demonstrating the key involvement of the Italian aerospace industry.

The work contracted to Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi, a strategic co-supplier of F-35A full wing assemblies, is one of the largest manufacturing projects for the Italian F-35 program, with 835 full wing assemblies planned. The Cameri FACO is owned by the Italian government and operated by Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi in association with Lockheed Martin. The Cameri FACO’s F-35 production operations began in July 2013 and rolled out Italy’s first F-35A aircraft, AL-1, in March; its first flight anticipated there later this year. The FACO will assemble both Italy’s F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variants and F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing variants, and is scheduled to assemble the Netherlands’ F-35A aircraft in the future. The F-35s will replace Italian Air Force and Italian Navy AV-8 Harriers, Panavia Tornados and AMX fighters.

“From the beginning of the program, Italian industry has influenced the aircraft’s design and capabilities. Italian-made parts and components are installed in every F-35 produced,” said Jack Crisler, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Business Development vice president. “Italian industry will support the F-35 for more than 30 years, from production of parts and final assembly of aircraft to replacement parts and regional sustainment work.”

The F-35 Lightning II, a 5th generation fighter, combines advanced low observable stealth technology with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Three distinct variants of the F-35 will replace the A/OA-10 Thunderbolt II and F-16 Fighting Falcon for the U.S. Air Force, the F/A-18 Hornet for the U.S. Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the U.S. Marine Corps, and a variety of fighters for at least 10 other countries. Following the U.S. Marine Corps’ planned 2015 combat-ready Initial Operational Capability (IOC) declaration, the U.S. Air Force and Navy intend to attain service IOC in 2016 and 2018, respectively. More than 115 production F-35s have been delivered to customers and have flown more than 33,000 flight hours, fleet-wide. F-35A aircraft AF-88, with the Alenia Aermacchi wing-set, will be operated by the U.S. Air Force at Nellis AFB, Nevada, upon delivery.

Press release and picture: Lockheed Martin