Mei 21 2012

Discussion in Italy about (too) low number of F-35Bs

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl om 9:15 onder Global F35 News

DefenseNews reports from Italy about the discussion between Ministry of Defence and the Italian Navy commander about a lower number of F-35Bs.

Original planning:
Before Defense Minister Giampao-lo di Paola announced the JSF reduction in February 2012 (caused by defense spending cuts), the Italian Air Force had planned to buy 69 conventional F-35As to replace its Tornados and 40 STOVL-version F-35Bs to replace its AMX fighter bombers and the Italian Navy had planned to acquire 22 STOVL version F-35Bs to replace its AV-8B Harrier aircraft.

New proposal Ministry of Defence (May 2012):
In an interview with the Italian publication Airpress, Air Force chief Gen. Giuseppe Bernardis said, “The Air Force will have 75 F-35s, of which 15 will be B, adding to the Navy’s 15.”

Opinion of Rear Admiral Paolo treu, commander of Italian Naval Air Fleet:
22 F-35B STOVL aircraft is the absolute minimum number the Navy can order.
Italian Navy claims that 22 F-35Bs is just enough to keep a full contingent aboard the carrier Cavour during operations.
With three aircraft likely to be kept in the U.S. as a contribution to a pilot training pool and five predicted to need maintenance at any given time, 14 would be left. They and six helicopters complete Cavour’s line-up.”

Read more (source): Defense News 15-May-2012: “Italian AF, Navy Head for F-35B Showdown

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