Italian Navy’s aircraft carrier Cavour ready for F-35 integration

On May 6, 2020, the flagship of the Italian Navy, the light aircraft carrier Cavour (550) left the Taranto naval base for sea trials after modernization works, which took place from December 2018.

On July 6, 2019, the 27,000-ton ship entered the Arsenal’s “Edgardo Ferrati” drydock to start the maintenance and modernization works required to accommodate and operate the F-35B Lightning II aircraft.

The modernization works now completed, 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.

In addition to the conventional take-off and landing version of the F-35A, Italy purchased 30 F-35B fighters for the Navy. A number of aircraft with a shortened take-off and a vertical landing will replace the obsolete AV-8B Harrier deck-based attack aircraft as part of the aircraft carrier’s wing.

The Cavour was developed in the 1990s to which her keel was laid down on July 17th, 2001. She was launched out to sea on July 20th, 2004 and underwent the requisite sea trials before seeing her formal commissioning on March 27th, 2008.

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