The Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare) has announced that an F-35A and an F-35B aircraft flew in ‘beast mode’ for the first time.

The aircraft are assigned to 32° Stormo (Wing) while the 13° Gruppo (Squadron) operates the flights.

In a tweet, Aeronautica Militare said: “The Italian Air Force is the only armed force operating both the F-35A and F-35B.

“Today for the first time a training mission for two jets loaded with internal and external weapons, configuration known as ‘beast mode’.”

In this mode, the weapons are carried inside the internal bay and the wing-mounted pylons.

In May, Italian defence minister Lorenzo Guerini reaffirmed the country’s commitment to the F-35 programme in an interview with magazine Formiche.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData

Italy is one of the two Level II partners on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Programme, contributing $1bn.

To deliver aircraft for Italy and the Netherlands, Lockheed Martin and Italian firm Alenia Aeronautica established an F-35 final assembly and checkout facility at Cameri Air Base, Italy.

In 2016, the Italian Air Force’s first F-35s arrived at the first in-country base and the F-35A’s Initial Operational Capability was declared in 2018.

As per the official US Government programme of record, Italy has plans to acquire a total of 90 F-35s.

The new F-35 fleet would replace Italy’s 253 Panavia Tornados, AMX Fighter Bombers, and AV8B Harriers.

Last month, the Italian Air Force officially took the delivery of the final Eurofighter Typhoon during a ceremony held at Leonardo’s plant in Caselle (Turin) in north-western Italy.