Swiss Air Force F-35A Lightning II Fighter Jets Could be Built in Cameri, Italy
Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Fighter Jet

Swiss Air Force F-35A Lightning II Fighter Jets Could be Built in Cameri, Italy

A delegation from armasuisse led by National Armaments Director Martin Sonderegger is visiting the Italian National Armaments Director in Cameri, Italy for bilateral talks in connection with the Air2030 programme. They will be discussing whether a part of the future Swiss F-3A fighter jets can be manufactured in Italy. The exchange will focus on whether it will be possible to have a part of the future F-35-A fleet of the Swiss Air Force produced in Cameri, Italy. During their visit, the delegation will also gain an insight into the production and maintenance plant in Cameri. Among other things, the programme will include discussions on the current status of the F-35 programme as well as the planned offset activities of Lockheed Martin in Switzerland. The possibility of production of the future F-35A of the Swiss Air Force in Cameri, Italy will also be discussed.

National Armaments Director Martin Sonderegger will be accompanied by Peter Winter, Head of the Air2030 programme, Darko Savic, project manager of “New Fighter Aircraft” and Bernhard Berset, Deputy project manager of “New Fighter Aircraft”. In Cameri, the armasuisse delegation will meet the Italian National Armaments Director and other employees of the Ministry of Defence as well as representatives from the Italian F-35 project and the Italian company Leonardo.

In Cameri, Italy maintains one of two production lines of the F-35 outside of the USA and the only one in Europe. Italy participated in the F-35 programme from the beginning. The Italian Air Force and the Italian Navy operate F-35A and F-35B aircraft. In addition, F-35A is also produced for the Dutch Air Force in Cameri. The planned procurement entered the next phase when the Federal Council decided on the Lockheed Martin F-35A for the Swiss Air Force on June 30, 2021. Since then, talks have intensified based on the submitted offer and the Armed Forces Dispatch 2022 has been prepared, with its main focus on the procurement of the new fighter aircraft and the renewal of the extended range ground-based air defence system (Bodluv GR).

The Swiss Government selected the F-35A in June of 2021, marking the beginning of their critical transition to 5th Generation airpower. You can find out more about the selection here. The F-35A quickly gets to where it needs to be and is nimble enough to handle the diverse Swiss terrain. It is interoperable with a number of other systems, which will include the ground-based air defense system that Switzerland is also in the process of selecting. Swiss industry already plays a role in building the F-35, with six suppliers providing components to the aircraft. A 5th Generation aircraft requires a whole new approach to design, manufacturing and sustainment.