Pratt & Whitney's F135 engine powering the F-35 Lightning II, successfully completed its first engine start and ground run in the first F-35 assembled outside of the United States. The event occurred June 2 at the Italian F-35 Final Assembly Check-Out (FACO) facility in Cameri, Italy supported by the joint team of Pratt and Whitney, Lockheed Martin, Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi, and the Italian Ministry of Defense (MOD). Pratt & Whitney is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) company.
The Cameri FACO is owned by the Italian government and operated by Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi in association with Lockheed Martin. The Cameri FACO's F-35 production operations began in July 2013 and it rolled out Italy's first F-35A aircraft, AL-1, in March of 2015; the aircraft's first flight is anticipated there later this year. Installed in December, S/N 750100 was Pratt & Whitney's 100th production conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) engine.
"Supporting the first F135 engine start in AL-1 in Italy was an amazing opportunity and privilege, especially on the Italian Independence Day," said Toby Varghese, F135 Propulsion System Field Service Site Lead. "I am looking forward to Pratt & Whitney's continued support through AL-1 first flight in 2015."
Italy, the third largest partner to the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program, has plans to buy 60 F-35A and 30 F-35B jets. The F-35s will replace Italian Air Force and Italian Navy AV-8 Harriers, Panavia Tornados and AMX fighters. The FACO is charged with assembly of both Italy's F-35A variant and its F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant, and is scheduled to assemble the Netherlands' F-35A aircraft in the future.
Pratt & Whitney is responsible for providing ready-for-install engines to Alenia Aermacchi for installation into the F-35 aircraft. This includes receiving and inspecting engines upon arrival in-country, all unit level maintenance and trouble shooting of the propulsion system, providing technical assistance to the Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi and Lockheed Martin personnel regarding the engine and providing propulsion system material management.
"A lot of team work has led to this successful milestone," said Angelo Ricigliano, Pratt & Whitney's F135 international fleet operations representative who was involved with the standup of the FACO. "The tone after the event is that of satisfaction and confidence in the work performed leading to the successful first engine run. It's this satisfaction and confidence that will fuel the continued progress for the FACO team in the years to come."
Pratt & Whitney is proud to power the F-35 Lightning II, and the F135 has logged more than 5,700 flights, 21,000 flight hours and more than 800 vertical landings. To date, Pratt & Whitney has delivered 228 F135 engines, including both System Design and Development and production engines.
Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines and auxiliary power units. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Connecticut, provides high technology products and services to the building and aerospace industries. To learn more about UTC, visit its website at www.utc.com, or follow the company on Twitter: @UTC.
This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning future business opportunities. Actual results may differ materially from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to changes in government procurement priorities and practices, budget plans and availability of funding, and in the number of aircraft to be built; challenges in the design, development, production and support of advanced technologies; as well as other risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to those detailed from time to time in United Technologies Corp.'s Securities and Exchange Commission filings.