The first F-35B STOVL jet has landed on the Italian Navy’s Aircraft Carrier Cavour, as part of the Ready for Operations campaign, which will conclude with a certification of readiness for the operation of the new aircraft.
The two F-35B jets currently being used for sea trials stage of the campaign are property of the U.S. Marine Corps. This process, which began on 28 February as the ship departed from Norfolk, is estimated to last for about four weeks.
As reported by the Italian Navy, sea trials will be followed by an assessment of the F-35B’s impact on the ship. This will likely include ensuring that the new deck coating, with which the Cavour has been upgraded over a period of sixteen months in Taranto, can handle the thermodynamic stress caused by the new jets taking off and landing.
Cavour is expected to reach “initial operational capability” by 2024.