30 Apr '12, 11pm

Italy Remains Committed to JSF Program, Defense Minister Says

Italy still remains committed to the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program despite announcing plans earlier this year to slash its purchase quantity more than 30 percent. The F-35 will provide a “much bigger capacity” over existing aircraft and will allow Italy to be at “the front edge of capacity with the United States,” Italian Defense Minister Giampaolo Di Paola said at during an April 30 speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. Italy plans to purchase F-35A conventional jets for its air force and F-35B short take-off, vertical-landing jets for its Navy. In February, Di Paola announced Rome — which has invested more than $3 billion in the Joint Strike Fighter program — would reduce its F-35 buy from 131 to 90 aircraft. The F-35 program also came up when Di Paola met with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at the Pentagon o...

Full article: http://www.defensenews.com/article/20120430/DEFREG01/3043...

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