The aircraft carrier Cavour of the Navy this morning returned to Taranto in the Mar Grande naval station thus ending, after three months, the campaign Ready for Operations (RFO). The ship was "greeted" in the Ionian Sea by the destroyer Andrea Doria, from the amphibious ship San Giusto and from the submarine Prini.
Thanks to the RFO campaign, the flagship of the naval team has successfully launched the fundamental activities in the qualification process to use the new weapon system consisting of fifth generation aircraft, the F-35 in version B, with short take-off and landing vertical.
“This aircraft carrier represents the ultimate expression of a nation's maritime power and naval diplomacy. The aircraft carrier capacity is indicative of the international rank of the country and is the pillar of the projection capacity on and from the sea. Thus the Undersecretary of State for Defense, Senator Stefania Pucciarelli, who welcomed the ship and crew representing the Minister of Defense, accompanied by the Chief of Staff of the Navy, Admiral Giuseppe Cavo Dragone, and by the Commander-in-Chief of the naval team, Admiral Paolo Treu.
The important results obtained in collaboration with the United States of America, during the activities just completed, constitute a fundamental step for the Navy that will begin to replace the AV-8B Plus Harriers, now reached the end of their operational life cycle, and which aims to achieve, by 2024, the Initial Operational Capability. Satisfied the chief of staff of the Navy, team admiral Giuseppe Cavo Dragone: "The Ready for Operations campaign ended with the full realization of the objectives initially proposed and led to the achievement by the Naval Air System Command - American certifying authority - of the authorization to use the F35-B on board the Cavour aircraft carrier ". The process will be complete with the acquisition of the Final Operational Capability with the delivery of the last aircraft.
The campaign Ready for Operations of Cavour, represents a success of strategic importance for the Navy, the Defense and the country, which further strengthens the transatlantic link with the United States, as stated by the Minister of Defense, the Honorable Lorenzo Guerini, on the occasion of the greeting to the crew on departure of the aircraft carrier from Taranto: "This is certainly a technical-operational activity - said Minister Guerini from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier - but with important implications on a strategic-military level for Defense and for the country on the international scene. A result that would not have been achieved without the tenacity, professionalism and self-denial of women and men who strongly believe in their profession and their mission, ready to demonstrate their skills on every occasion, generous and extraordinary professionals of the Sea ".