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Paris Air Show: Italy aims high on JSF
By Tim Ripley, JDW Special Correspondent, Paris Air Show
Italy could emerge as the largest European buyer of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), as early details emerged at the Paris Air Show of gathering momentum to put the next-generation combat aircraft into full-scale production.
Tom Burbage, Lockheed Martin's vice-president for the F-35 programme, told JDW that the Italian Air Force was now considering replacing its Panavia Tornado interdictor strike (IDS) fleet with JSF. This would push the total potential Italian buy above 200 aircraft.
To date the Italians have committed to some 131 JSFs to replace the air force's McDonnell Douglas AV-8B naval fighters and Alenia/Embraer AMX light combat jets, putting them just behind the UK's stated requirement for 150 aircraft to replace the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy's Harrier GR.9s.
The Italian interest in the F-35 comes as the US and the JSF partner nations are stepping up negotiations over the JSF Production, Sustainment and Follow-on Development Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), ahead of the formal launching of the process in the third quarter of this year. Lockheed Martin executives regard this as a crucial phase of the JSF project that will determine how many aircraft are required and where they will be built.
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I wish they would buy some Raptors too.
Originally posted by WestPoint23That not possible because congress has not approved the Raptor for export, any country who wants to buy the Raptor will have to convince the US congress to lift its ban on selling the F/A-22.
Originally posted by danwild6
Call me ignorant but wasn't the original date supposed to be in the 2006-08 timeframe.