Guido Crosetto, the head of Italian aerospace and defense industry association (AIAD) is crying foul on the F-35 workshare program saying Lockheed Martin has broken promises. Crosetto stated that Italian companies have not been given any maintenance contracts on the F-35.
“Small Italian firms were excluded because the competition favored large companies,” said Crosetto.
Rome currently plans to buy 90 aircraft. In return, Italy was told its workshare would likely reach around 65 percent of its investment. “Today we are at less than 20 percent,” said Crosetto.
Crosetto, who was a government defense ministry undersecretary between 2008 and 2011, said if Italy falls behind on F-35 workshare, political consequences would follow.“Back then, I staked my reputation in parliament by talking about the jobs and technology Italy would gain through choosing the F-35 program,” he said. “How easy will it be to defend these choices in parliament now?” – Read the Full Story at DefenseNews
Some members of the Italian Parliament have criticized the funds allocated for the F-35 saying it would be better spent on public education and healthcare.
Italy has built a F-35 final assembly and maintenance facility in Cameri in northern Italy. In December, 2016 Italy took delivery of two F-35s from the Cameri location making them the first operational F-35s built outside of the United States.
Featured image of Lt. Gen. Pasquale Preziosa, Chief of the Italian Air Force and the first Italian F-35A at the F-35 Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility at Cameri, in northwestern Italy by Lockheed Martin’s Thinh Nguyen.