Italy, Turkey Win Big on F-35 Sustainment

By 2018 Italy will provide initial airframe MRO&U
capability for the European region, with supplement
support to be provided by the UK if required.
Engine heavy maintenance will initially be provided
by Turkey.

The F-35 Joint Program Office compiled and analysed
data from European partners and their industries to
determine how and from where near-term support for
F-35 engines and airframes would be provided, as
part of the F-35 global sustainment strategy.

The sustainment plan divides the F-35 customer base
into the US, Europe and the Pacific, with regional
centers filling different sustainment missions. The
program office selects the best bids for each part
of the sustainment operation as a cost-controlling

Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, F-35 Program Executive
Officer, said: ‘This is the first of many
opportunities we will have to assign F-35 global
sustainment solutions. As international F-35
deliveries increase and global operations expand,
support provided by our international F-35 users
becomes increasingly more important.

It is unclear whether Italy or Turkey will come
online first, but Bogdan indicated they would be up
and running within a few years of Turkey’s
operations going live.

Also Turkish Roketsan and Lockheed Martin
previously had signed a teaming agreement for
collaboration on the SOM-J, which is a variant of
Turkish new generation air-to-surface Standoff
Cruise Missile for the F-35 Lightning II.

The SOM-J variant is tailored for internal carriage
on the F-35 aircraft. The companies will jointly
develop, produce, market and support SOM-J for
internal carriage on the F-35 aircraft or external
carriage on other aircraft.