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Italian Air Force's Chief seeks to expand the F-35 fleet to the quota initially envisioned, that is 131

Feb 22, 2017
United States
United States

The Italian Air Force Wants The Next-Gen Fighter And The Original F-35 Quota To Be Restored


The need for more F-35s.​

“The Italian Air Force has always believed that the F-35 aircraft is the most advanced weapon system available today, crucial to continue to guarantee capabilities that are irreplaceable for an Air Force that aspires to be strategically relevant and operationally decisive, not only in carrying out the daily national Air Defense mission, but especially to operate in conflict scenarios where we might be called upon to counter a well-equipped and heavily armed opponent determined to impose itself by any means possible.”

“A hypothesis, the latter, which many, since the beginning of the 21st century, had dangerously set aside as “anachronistic” and no longer repeatable, but which the recent history has instead imposed as dramatically current. Well, with perseverance, competence and experience [..] the Air Force has always firmly advocated the need to equip itself with such an advanced weapon system, even when the F-35 was unjustly “demonized” by many as “a useless waste of taxpayers’ resources”, underestimating how the air battle, more than any other sector, has always been a clash between technologies.”


“The invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation a year ago suddenly and disruptively brought back into our lives ghosts of the past now forgotten, bringing back in ours homes the dramatic images of war and destruction that catapulted the European continent back a century. Convincing ourselves that everything we are witnessing is an isolated, distant and unrepeatable event is a fatal mistake that we must not make. Suffice it to say that the war zone is as the crow flies from Italy as the Brenner from Lampedusa [i.e. from the northern part of Italy to its southernmost island].”

“This unjustifiable aggression has also demonstrated how our country has been able to promptly react with great determination, quickly activating the national military complex. The Air Force confirmed that it possesses great professionalism and responsiveness, managing to field a credible defense and deterrence tool doubling the effort of its Eurofighter fighter aircraft contingent in Romania in carrying out the mission in just 48 hours. NATO surveillance of the European skies operating in perfect synergy with the more than 100 aircraft of the Atlantic alliance launched in the early evening to protect the eastern flank of NATO”.

The General went on to say that the war in Ukraine has, once again, proved that major military operations leave no doubt about the fundamental importance of having a capable, effective, well-trained, technologically adequate Air Force, both in terms of technology and numbers: “technology alone, without proportionate numbers can do little against a numerically preponderant opponent.” For this reason, the Head of the Italian Air Force calls the country to raise awareness and put a greater attention to the existential element of each air force: the combat air component.

In order to achieve the Air Superiority, the Air Force asks for a trend reversal with respect to the choices done in the past, bringing back, rapidly, the F-35 and Eurofighter fleets, “at least to the number of aircraft that had been carefully studied before 2012.”

A Level 2 partner in the F-35 program, Rome had an original requirement for 131 planes to replace the ageing (and, for this reason, costly) AMX and Tornado fleets of the Italian Air Force, and the AV-8B+ Harrier jump jets of the Italian Navy. The number was cut by 30 percent, from 131 to 90 “as a consequence of the general economic situation, rather than as a result of scientific military analysis” as Goretti commented. The current plan, based on the 2012 cuts sees a procurement of a total of 90 F-35s: 60 F-35As and 30 F-35Bs. Out of those 30 F-35Bs, 15 will go to the Navy and 15 to the Air Force.

Goretti said that getting to the 131 quota by 2030 would be a priority.

“Beyond that” Goretti added, “I want to emphasize the importance of ensure adequate stockpiles of precision ammunition, without which military intervention risks to be inadequate and ineffective. What we are asking for is not one short-sighted escalation towards rearmament but only what is needed to defend Italy, protecting our personnel and providing them with better tools to fulfil constitutional tasks, in the shared hope we will never have to be called upon to do so”.



Aug 12, 2018
I would first go for the Tranche 1 of eurofighters that the UK is retiring. Make a low offer to the UK for their aircraft that are retiring.

UK to retire Tranche 1 Typhoons with more than half of airframe hours remaining​

30 remain in the inventory. Of these, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) told Janes that 20 are in active service while the remaining 10 are in storage.

After 20 years, these are at half life.

The F-35Bs are the valuable replacements to the Harriers. Re-allocate the F-35Bs used by the airforce to navy.

Scenarios where the Air Force would require F-35Bs, instead of As, are rare and not necessary for the Italian air force.

I did wargame a war between NATO Europe and Russia, and Russia did strike some of the airfield runways. F-35Bs would be the only craft capable of take-off/land from those airfields hit (Europe quickly learned in my wargaming that European jets need to be in the air nearly continually or out of range far from Russian attacks of airfields), until runways were patched and repaired. So there is use. Though no need to spend more.

The Harriers are only operated by the Italian Navy, so there is no need for a F-35B replacement for the Italian Air Force. Have the Italian Air Force crew pilot the 30 euorfighters, instead of the 15 F-35Bs.

European industries should be relied on. 90 should be enough F-35s. We should do something similar to the Germans on the Panavia aircraft:

5 billion euros or more spent on the F-35s could be better spent on Italy's non-existent army. 5 billion could buy 300 more tanks or 600 more IFVs or 10 SAMP/T Batteries. Or smarter with artillery of all varieties - mortars, towed, SP, rocket, with emphasis on towed and mortars. You can get 10s of thousands of mortars and nearly 1.000 towed artillery is a more effective use of 5 billion euros. Can 40 more F-35s stop Russia when Netherlands has ordered 37. plus more planned.

If Russia Republicans were on Team Europe, instead of on Team Russia, then this would be ok to spend on. Would Poland and the Danes have the rug pulled out from under them during a possible Russian invasion of Europe with pro-Russia Republicans in the white house. US weapons are designed to only be used against US enemies. If Turkey uses US high tech weapons on Israel, the US can turn off the system remotely and save Israel. This was previously discussed on PDF. Would Russia Republicans turn off F-35s being used against Russia.

Here is the Trump plan.

Trump’s Authoritarian Plans for a Second Term Should Scare the Crap Out of You​

Trump skirting Congress to install loyalists in the Pentagon​

We should trust our friends in the US media that warned us that Trump plans a purge in the Pentagon to only have Trumpian pro-Russia anti-NATO loyalists in the Pentagon.

If the Pentagon won't be pro-NATO in 2025, then why buy their MIC weapons, when Trump could turn off the weapons used to defend Europe.

If Democrats were to win in 2025, things would be different. Biden is an overt Transatlanticist. Trump wants to burn down the globe to please cronies, including Putin.

So not only does Italy have budget constraints, not only does Italy need to invest more in their army. Europe has to worry about Farage Brexiters and Trump Qanon encirclement of Europe to hand over Europe to Trumps buddy Putin. Trump is supportive of the idea of Ukraine giving land to Russia. Trump would not defend Europe and threatened as much. Trump discussed abandoning NATO to Russia. Trump planned to abandon NATO to Russia.

So Europe must look to own defense industry for high tech weapons. 90 is enough of F-35s. Until Russia is defeated.
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Apr 28, 2009
United States
United States
Air Power Australia and Pierre Sprey failed to derail the F-35, so now its critics resort to Russian tactical nukes. As if they knew WTF they were talking about in the first place. These idjits were amusing for a while, but now they are downright annoying. :frown:


Jan 1, 2021
Lol does Italy have nukes, think logically and use the commonsense
"Think logically and use common sense". I am using logic and common sense you are the one not using it.

Do you understand Russian doctrine? Putin has said in a war against NATO that they would use tactical nukes. Tactical nuke strikes on staging areas and airbases/barracks would largely break up large deployments.

I've seen many people on autistic spectrum. But sir you are on unique spectrum levels
Says the troll.

White and Green with M/S

Oct 29, 2020
United States
Think logically and use common sense". I am using logic and common sense you are the one not using it.

Do you understand Russian doctrine? Putin has said in a war against NATO that they would use tactical nukes. Tactical nuke strikes on staging areas and airbases/barracks would largely break up large deployments.
Lol you're using logic and common sense that's new for me 😄

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