Italy will not purchase any more US-made F-35 stealth fighter jets and will review the existing order for 90 planes, Italian Defense Minister Elisabetta Trenta said in a television interview with La 7 broadcaster.
Trenta also rulled out any new coontracts on with the US for the purchase of F-35 warplanes. The defense minister emphasized that the order for 60 F-35A and 30 F-35B jets, which Italy concluded in 2012, may be placed under review.
“We won’t buy any more F-35s. We are assessing what to do regarding the contracts already in place,” she said noting that strong financial penalties could mean that “scrapping the order could cost us more than maintaining it.”
“In view of the existing contracts signed by the previous government, we are carrying out a careful assessment that exclusively considers the national interest.”
According to Trenta, the termination of the contract can negatively impact Italian workers involved in the production. She listed other merits of the deal such as “technological activity” and “important research” in a Facebook post accompanying the interview.
In 2012, Italy already downsized its initial order for 135 F-35 jets to 90. 10 of these 90 jets were received.