Italy's Finmeccanica to run F-35 fighter jet maintenance center for Europe-based aircraft

Italy's defense minister and the U.S. ambassador to Italy have announced that an Italian site run by defense contractor Finmeccanica has been designated as the maintenance center for all F-35 fighter jets based in Europe.

The deal, announced in Rome Thursday, will be a boost for Italy, which is suffering from double-digit inflation and withering investments. It will also help Finmeccanica, whose image was tarnished by corruption allegations surrounding a helicopter contract for India. Two former executives were acquitted of corruption charges.

U.S. Ambassador John Philips said the selection of the site in the northern Piedmont region "will mean substantial benefits and technological development for Italy."