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Germany opted for the United States over Europe in its procurement of F-35 aircraft.

Germany planned to acquire 35 units of the F-35A Lightning II fighter jets and decided to produce the aircraft at the Final Assembly and Checkout (FACO) facilities in the United States instead of Italy.

Berlin government decided that the 35 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II fighter jets purchased for the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) would be produced at the Final Assembly and Checkout Facility (FACO) in Fort Worth, Texas, USA, instead of facilities in Europe. The FACO was originally planned to be in Cameri, Italy.

In a statement from Lockheed Martin to Janes, the following remarks were made: “The final assembly and checkout of the German F-35 is currently planned to take place at the Fort Worth facility, utilizing key components from across Europe, including Germany, the UK, and Italy.”

“Deliveries of the 35 F-35As for the Luftwaffe are slated to commence in 2026 with the first aircraft expected to reach Germany in 2027. However, Lockheed Martin did not provide detailed information regarding Germany’s decision to opt for the US-produced F-35 in Europe. The German Bundeswehr did not comment.”

Italy, the Netherlands, and Switzerland had previously committed to producing all or part of their F-35 fleets in Cameri. However, the US government recently decided to open up the European facility to other continental customers who could utilize it.

They assigned Turkey’s role in the F-35 project to Germany

American companies Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman recently signed a letter of intent with Rheinmetall AG as a strategic supplier for the F-35 mid-fuselage. As part of this potential partnership, a second F-35 mid-fuselage Integrated Assembly Line (IAL) will be established in Germany.

Turkey, one of the joint producers of the F-35 program, was removed from the program in September 2021 citing the delivery of the S-400 system as the reason. Before being removed from the program, 11 Turkish defense companies produced numerous critical parts for the F-35 Lightning II fighter jet.

Among these 11 companies, Turkish Aerospace Industries, like Rheinmetall supplying to Northrop Grumman, also produced the center fuselage of the F-35. Following Turkey’s removal from the program, production by these 11 Turkish firms was also halted. Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor for the F-35 program, attempted to transfer its shares in Turkish companies to other domestic and foreign firms.




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