Italian Cavour aircraft carrier enters the Maritime Military Arsenal of Taranto to receive upgrades to host F-35B

Italian Cavour aircraft carrier F-35B
ITN Cavour aircraft carrier enters the "Edgardo Ferrati" basin of the Maritime Military Arsenal of Taranto, Italy.

On July 20, the ITN Cavour aircraft carrier entered the "Edgardo Ferrati" basin of the Maritime Military Arsenal of Taranto, Italy. The entry of the Cavour in one of the largest military masonry basins in Europe marks the "turning point" of the maintenance and adaptation works that will allow the ship to reach the standards set for the F-35B aircraft. The modern stealth aircraft will replace the current AV-8B Harrier fleet starting in 2022.

The operation also set a record as Cavour was the largest ship to enter the "Edgardo Ferrati" basin from the second post-war period to today. She weighs 27,000 tons.

The delicate maneuver, from the ship's entry phase to emptying and positioning on the dock, lasted about 17 hours and involved the Cavour crew and the military and civilian personnel of the Maritime Military Arsenal of Taranto. It started at 06.00 AM and was conducted in two stages: a first phase in which the aircraft carrier maneuvered to enter the basin, and a second phase, conducted by Arsenal personnel, which provided for emptying the basin and positioning precision on the notches.

In the coming months the ship will receive some major technical improvements, including the careening and metallization of the flight deck, which is essential to limit the thermodynamic impacts of the new aircraft. The Cavour maintenance and adaptation works represent the high productive ability of the Taranto plant and are experimenting the synergy between the Arsenal, national industry (Fincantieri and Leonardo) and small-medium industries, coordinated by the technical officers of the Navy.

At the end of the works, scheduled for the spring of 2020, the aircraft carrier will perform a training period to prepare for the departure for the United States where she will conduct some tests with the F-35B aircraft on board.

These activities will represent the first important steps to achieve the initial operational capacity of the aircraft carrier with its renewed boarded aerotactic component.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Source, Images: Italian Navy

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