The 13 June, at the 12.13, the second F35B aircraft of the Navy (side number 4-02) took off from the FACO (assembly plant and production of the components of the F-35 aircraft) of Cameri (Novara) to the USA; final destination of the Beaufort air base (South Carolina - USA) where the aircraft, together with the previous one (4-01), will support the training of Italian pilots and technicians destined for the F-35B line.
This line consists of latest-generation aircraft intended to replace the AV8B PLUS (Harrier), in order to keep the power projection capacity on the sea and from the sea centered on the aircraft carrier up to date. Cavour, in support of the international rank of Italy and of the strategic value of the Defense.
Under the command of the frigate captain Giambattista Molteni, experimenter pilot of the Italian Navy, who took turns with Captain Emiliano Battistelli, both in service at the Experimental Flight Center of the Air Force of Pratica di Mare, the 4-02 aircraft carried out the flight with the support of a "package" of assets of the Air Force consisting of a Eurofighter F-2000A escort fighter, a KC-767 tanker (airplane for in-flight refueling) and a C-130J ocean rescue aircraft.
Before arriving at Beaufort, the aircraft made intermediate stops at Keflavik (Iceland) and at the US Air Force base at Andrews (Maryland - USA), to reach its destination on Monday 17 June at 1830 Italian time.
Before leaving Cameri, the commander of the Navy air forces, rear-admiral Placido Torresi, handed over to the cf Molteni a flag of the Navy which accompanied, as usual, the aircraft during the flight.
The third F-35B aircraft, already at an advanced stage of construction at Cameri, will also be transferred to the Beaufort base to support the training of Italian personnel on F-35B; the current program foresees the execution of the first test flights in late summer and delivery in the autumn. The initial training program in the US for Italian personnel will include, starting in July, approximately 18 months of flight and maintenance activities with the support of Marine personnel.