Home Air Italian F-35s arrive in UK for interoperability training with British F-35Bs

Italian F-35s arrive in UK for interoperability training with British F-35Bs

Italian F-35 fighter aircraft
Italian F-35 fighter aircraft in the UK. Photo: Royal Air Force

An Italian Air Force C-130 Hercules and three F-35A aircraft arrived at Royal Air Force Base Marham this week on their return from a deployment in Iceland.

According to the RAF, this is the first time that European F-35 aircraft have landed at RAF Marham.

The Italian F-35A’s joined F-35Bs from 617 Squadron along with F-15s from RAF Lakenheath and a NATO E-3 to participate in an interoperability mission over the North Sea to refine Fighter Integration tactics between 4th and 5th generation air power.

“It was fantastic to welcome aircraft and personnel from the Italian Air Force to RAF Marham this week, and to conduct a training exercise with them in UK skies,” RAF Marham’s Acting Station Commander, Wg Cdr Scott Williams said. “Over the past few weeks our F-35B Lightnings have conducted a number of Exercises with our NATO partners, which has been a great opportunity to demonstrate the interoperability between the different platforms and further enhance both our enduring defensive partnership and wider NATO interests.”

The Italian F-35s are on the return leg of their NATO deployment to Iceland where they safeguarded ally airspace in the high north.

A total of six F-35 fighter aircraft landed in Keflavik Air Base, Iceland, On June 9, for the six- week deployment.

This was the second time after the spring of 2019, that Italy deployed its fifth generation fighter aircraft to the allied mission providing interceptor capabilities to safeguard Icelandic airspace. In 2013, 2017 and 2018, Italy deployed their Eurofighter aircraft in support of the mission.