Italian Navy F-35B lands on ITS Cavour for first time

Italian Navy F35B lands Cavour
Italian Navy F-35B lands on ITS Cavour for first time.

July 30 marked a major milestone for the Marina Militare (Italian Navy) when its F-35B landed for the first time on the ITS Cavour aircraft carrier. This significant goal comes after the test and certification activities carried out with US F-35B aircraft during the Ready for Operations (RFO) campaign in the Atlantic Ocean concluded at the end of April. The aircraft involved in the activity is the third F-35B assigned to the Italian Navy, recently taken over by the service at the production plant in Cameri, northern Italy, while the previous two are in the United States for pilot training.

As highlighted by the Italian Undersecretary of State for Defense, Stefania Pucciarelli, the arrival on board the Cavour of the modern short take-off and vertical landing aircraft allows pilots to begin training shortly for the acquisition of the so-called Carrier Qualification (CQ) which will allow them to operate from the flight decks of the Italian Navy ships. The Cavour, together with the French Charles de Gaulle and the Spanish Juan Carlos I, is the only aircraft carrier remaining operational in Europe after Brexit.

"The achievement of this important result is part of a long process that will lead to the achievement of the "Initial Operational Capability (IOC)" by 2024. When the Armed Force begins to use these ultra-modern STOVL (Short Take- Off and Vertical Landing) aircraft with a regular operational activity, Italy will become part of an elite of a few countries in the world (together with the USA, Japan and the United Kingdom) capable of operating with fifth generation combat aircraft from aircraft carriers," Pucciarelli said.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Images: Italian Navy

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