Gulf of Taranto, Ionian Sea, a Marina Militare (Italian Navy) on Friday an F-35B is docked for the first time onboard the Cavour aircraft carrier, after the test and certification activity carried out with US aircraft during the “Ready for Operations” (RFO) campaign concluded at the end of April this year. This is the third aircraft assigned to the Navy and just withdrawn from the assembly plant in Cameri (NO), while the previous two are in the United States to support the training of pilots of the Armed Forces.
The arrival of the aircraft represents a fundamental step in the process of replacing the AV-8B Plus Harriers. The Navy plans to obtain the initial operational capacity (IOC) by 2024 and, subsequently, the Final Operational Capability – FOC, after the delivery of the last aircraft to the Navy.
Arriving onboard the aircraft allows pilots to begin training in the acquisition of the so-called “Bravo Feature”, that is, the qualification for assembly and take-off from the flight decks of Navy ships, which in the case fixed-wing aircraft operating as aircraft carriers (Aircraft Carriers), is called Carrier Qualification (CQ).