Italy has signed a $524 million worth contract with Lockheed for 18 F-35 Lightning II fifth-generation fighter jets.
The deal, which was announced by the US Department of Defense on August 9, 2022, includes 14 conventional take-off and landing F-35A variants and four short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B variants.
The new F-35s are expected to be delivered by June 2025. Production and delivery will be performed in Texas, California, the United Kingdom, Italy as well as other locations.
As part of the country’s defense program, Italy plans to have a total of 90 F-35s, including 60 conventional F-35As and 30 F-35B STOLs. The production rate of the F-35 has been steadily increasing in recent years.
In 2021, Lockheed Martin announced the delivery of 142 aircraft of the type, bringing the grand total of F-35s operational worldwide to 750. The company planned to deliver 196 aircraft in 2022.