Italy and Turkey are the big winners in the first wave of F-35 global sustainment competition.

Italy’s existing Final Assembly and Check out (FACO) facility will provide heavy airframe maintenance for Europe, with the UK potentially gaining extra business in the future if Italy cannot handle the workload. Turkey, meanwhile, will be the first of three European heavy engine maintenance facilities to come online, eventually followed by Norway and the Netherlands.

The assignments were announced Thursday by Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, the F-35 program head. “Heavy” maintenance covers work involving changes or repair to the body of the aircraft, such as a replacement of a bulkhead or the fixing of a wing. […]