ITS Cavour has started sea trials to achieve the certification for F-35B aircraft.
The flagship of the Italian Navy is testing the F-35B aircraft in different conditions.
#ReadyForOperations campaign. ITS Cavour begins sea trials to achieve the certification for #F35B aircraft.
The flagship of the Italian Navy testing the 5th generation aircraft taking off and landing in different conditions.
👉https://t.co/RPhn1YaFKB@USNavy @theF35JPO pic.twitter.com/M3z0CmvinB
— Marina Militare (@ItalianNavy) March 3, 2021
The Italian Navy is replacing its 16 Harriers with 15 F-35B Lightning IIs. Last year 2020 the carrier underwent modernisation to support the F-35B. Cavour will have room for ten F-35Bs in the hangar, and six more parked on deck.
According to the Italian Navy:
“With her departure on the morning of February 28th from the base of the US Navy’s Second Fleet in Norfolk, the aircraft carrier ITS Cavour began the “hot” phase of the “Ready for Operations” campaign. The first landing of an F-35B aircraft on the deck of the Italian Navy’s aircraft carrier Cavour represents an important milestone in the integration phase with the fifth generation aircraft.
The purpose of the Sea Trials, which will continue in the Atlantic Ocean for a further four weeks, is to achieve the certification of the operational envelope of Cavour’s flight deck. Following this, it will be time to verify the impact of the fifth generation aircraft on the ship in various conditions of wind and sea when taking off and landing in order to achieve the “Ready for Operation” certification.”
After demonstrating safe launch and recovery of the aircraft, ITS Cavour will be declared ‘Ready for Operations’, which will allow her to start tests with the F-35B that will lead to the achievement of the Initial Operational Capability by 2024.