Italian Aircraft Carrier Ready for F-35B Integration

Italian Aircraft Carrier Ready for F-35B Integration 11 May, 2020

The Italian Navy's ITS Cavour (550) aircraft carrier has been undergoing through the modernization process since 2018. The platform, which recently completed the process, has been ready for integration tests for the F-35B (STOVL) aircraft. The F-35 will replace AV-8B Harrier II on the aircraft carrier, which has been drawn to the Edgardo Ferrati dry pool for about two years for the necessary maintenance and modernization process.

The upgrades included a reinforced flight deck to handle the stress of direct thrust from the engines of the F-35B, which is capable of temporarily pointing its thrusters downward in order to take off and land vertically.

The Italian aircraft carrier will undertake a preparatory training before sailing to the U.S. where the ship will conduct trials with the F-35B STOVL (Short Take-Off Vertical Landing) variant of the Joint Strike Fighter on board. 30 F-35B aircraft were purchased for the Italian Navy.

Cavour’s, sea trials began in 2006 and it was commissioned in 2008. The Cavour is fitted with a sky-jump ramp. A flight deck can accommodate 10-12 aircraft, 6 helicopters. This vessel allows flight operations up to the sea state 6.

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