Pratt & Whitney (P&W) has successfully completed the first engine start and ground run of its F135 engine in Italy’s first F-35A aircraft, AL-1, at the F-35 Final Assembly Check-Out (FACO) facility in Cameri, Italy.
The F135 engine test was supported by the joint team of P&W, Lockheed Martin, Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi, and the Italian Ministry of Defense (MOD).
P&W was contracted to deliver ready-to-install engines to Alenia Aermacchi for the AL-1.
F135 Propulsion System Field Service Site lead Toby Varghese said: "Supporting the first F135 engine start in AL-1 in Italy was an amazing opportunity and privilege, especially on the Italian Independence Day.
"I am looking forward to Pratt & Whitney’s continued support through AL-1 first flight in 2015."
The Cameri FACO is owned by the Italian Defence Ministry, and jointly operated by Lockheed and Alenia Aermacchi. It is scheduled to manufacture all Italian F-35A and F-35B aircraft.
Italy, which is the third largest partner to the joint strike fighter (JSF) programme, is planning to purchase F-35s to replace its air force and navy AV-8 Harriers, Panavia Tornados and AMX fighters.
Started production in July 2013, the Cameri FACO rolled out Italy’s first F-35A aircraft, AL-1, in March this year. The first flight of the aircraft is scheduled later in the year.
The F-35 is a fifth-generation multi-role fighter aircraft, and is designed to conduct a wide range of ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defence missions with stealth capability.
Image: Pratt & Whitney has delivered 228 F135 engines so far, including both system design and development and production engines. Photo: courtesy of United Technologies Corporation – Pratt & Whitney Division.