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Germany opts for US rather than European F-35 assembly

Germany's 35 F-35As will be built at the Fort Worth facility in the US (pictured) rather than at the Cameri site in Italy. (Lockheed Martin)

Berlin has decided that the F-35A variant aircraft contracted for the Luftwaffe are to be built at the US final assembly and check-out (FACO) facility in Fort Worth, Texas, rather than at the European FACO at Cameri, Italy.

“Currently, final assembly and check-out of German F-35 aircraft is planned to occur at the Fort Worth facility using major components from across Europe, including Germany, UK, and Italy,” Janes was told by Lockheed Martin.

The Luftwaffe is to receive 35 F-35As, with deliveries commencing in the US in 2026 and the first aircraft arriving in Germany in 2027. Lockheed Martin did not elaborate on Germany’s decision to opt for US rather than European production, while the Bundeswehr referred Janes to the manufacturer for comment.

With Italy, the Netherlands, and Switzerland having previously committed to have their entire or a portion of their fleets built at Cameri, the US government recently decided to open up the European facility to any other continental customers that might wish to use it.

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