Aircraft Carrier Cavour Exits Drydock During F-35B Upgrade

November 26, 2019 (Google Translation) – The Cavour aircraft carrier out of the dry dock “Edgardo Ferrati” of the Naval Arsenal of Taranto, after having completed the work of careening began last July 20. From December 2018 the aircraft carrier of the Navy is continuing the modernization and restructuring works, including the important periodic careening operation in addition to the metallization of the flight deck to contain the thermodynamic impacts of the F 35B aircraft. The work on the hull was carried out by applying a cutting-edge painting cycle in…

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Marine Corps F-35Bs and USS America Train Together

October 24, 2019 – Approximately one dozen, fully-operational F-35B Lightning IIs embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) Oct. 8 during routine training in the eastern Pacific. The F-35Bs are assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 122, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force. Lt. Col. John Dirk, commanding officer, VMFA 122, highlighted the importance of being able to conduct the training in a joint environment and stated the training was a success. “The training went exceedingly well. We were able to sustain a high…

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Cavour Begins F-35B Upgrade

July 22, 2019 (Google Translation) – The Cavour Aircraft Carrier entered the “Edgardo Ferrati” basin of the Maritime Military Arsenal of Taranto yesterday. The entry of the aircraft carrier into one of the largest military masonry basins in Europe, represents the ‘turning point’ in the conduct of maintenance and adaptation work which, after ten years of service, will also allow the ship to adapt to the expected standards for the F-35B aircraft, destined to replace the current fleet of AV-8B of the Aircraft Group of the Italian Navy. On board…

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History made as UK F-35s complete first operational missions

June 25, 2019 – The UK’s newest and most advanced fighter jet, the Lightning F-35B, has successfully completed its first operational missions. F-35s have flown alongside Typhoon aircraft on operational flights over the skies of Syria and Iraq, as part of the ongoing fight against Daesh, the Defence Secretary has confirmed. This follows a successful training period in Cyprus, known as Exercise Lightning Dawn, aimed at building capability for the aircraft and supporting elements. Due to the exceptional performance of the aircraft, pilots, and support staff during this time, it…

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Raytheon Wins US Navy JPALS Contract

June 17, 2019 – Raytheon has won a four-year $234 million initial low-rate production contract from the U.S. Navy to outfit all of its nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships with 23 Joint Precision Approach and Landing Systems. JPALS is a GPS-based precision landing system that guides aircraft to precision landings in all weather and surface conditions.   “The U.S. Navy understands how JPALS contributes to their mission success and safety of its people,” said Matt Gilligan, vice president of Raytheon’s Intelligence, Information and Services business. “Other military services could…

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HMS Queen Elizabeth Prepares for Transatlantic Training

June 4, 2019 – HMS Queen Elizabeth, the nation’s future flagship, will deploy in late summer for the eastern seaboard of the US, including a port visit in the Washington area where she will host the Atlantic Future Forum. The UK’s largest and most advanced warship ever will be making the transatlantic journey for the second consecutive year to train alongside the UK’s closest ally. She will also make a number of port calls whilst deployed before returning ahead of Christmas. Whilst in the Washington area she will host the…

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NAWCAD Lakehurst Adapts Weapons Loader for F-35B

March 19, 2019 – Team work and co-location at Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Lakehurst resulted in modified Support Equipment (SE) that gives the F-35B Lightning II more capability. When the Marine Corps chose the Guided Bomb Unit (GBU)-49 weapon system for the F-35B, they needed a piece of SE to load the weapon onto the aircraft. The GBU-49 provides new capability that will enable the F-35B to engage moving ground targets. However, the conduit on the GBU-49 did not fit the current weapons loader, until a team…

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UK wins global F-35 support assignment worth £500M

February 12, 2019 – The UK’s role as a leading partner on the global F-35 program has received another huge boost today. The F-35 avionic and aircraft component repair hub in North Wales was awarded a second major assignment of work worth some £500M by the US Department of Defense. Following the announcement in 2016 that the UK would be the location of the global repair hub for the initial tranche of F-35 components, today’s news sees significantly more UK support work to the cutting-edge jets. This new assignment will…

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U.S., Japanese Commanders Observe F-35B Operations from USS Wasp

February 4, 2019 – The Commander of U.S. 7th Fleet (C7F) and Commander in Chief of Self Defense Fleet, Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF), visited the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) Feb. 5 to observe the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) operations at sea. U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer and Vice Adm. Kazuki Yamashita were joined by other senior JSDF officers to showcase Wasp ARG’s amphibious capabilities, including operations by 31st MEU F-35B Lightning II aircraft. “It’s great getting…

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HMS Monmouth Returns From F-35B Plane Guard Duty

December 14, 2018 – HMS Monmouth has returned to her home in Devonport after being deployed with the UK’s newest aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth. The Type-23 frigate has operated as part of the Carrier Strike Group since the ships sailed in August on the WESTLANT 2018 Deployment. Her role has been to provide security at sea for the Strike Group on the East Coast of the US as the Carrier conducted hugely successful and historic trials with the F35B- Lightning II jets. During her deployment, she travelled over 20,000…

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Pax River F-35 ITF Leaves HMS Queen Elizabeth After “Eclipsing aspirations”

November 30, 2018 – F-35 Lightning jets from the Pax River Integrated Test Force (ITF) left HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08), Nov. 19, 2018, after eight weeks flying on and off the 65,000-tonne warship, helping to write the ‘operator’s manual’ so the jets can fly from her deck on front-line operations. The success of the Westlant 18 deployment – which has also included a visit to New York – allows the Portsmouth, UK-based ship to move on to operational trials next year. Two F-35B test jets, four test pilots and nearly…

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Lightnings strike Eagles and Hawks as F-35s train to defend UK skies

November 30, 2018 – Side by side several thousand feet above eastern England three warbirds fly in close formation as UK F-35s take part in their first combat exercise in home skies: playing out a mock 21st-Century Battle of Britain. Two Lightnings – one flown by an RAF pilot, the second with a Fleet Air Arm aviator in the cockpit – joined 40 British, American and French jets over East Anglia and the North Sea for Exercise Point Blank. For the past three years, the US and RAF have been…

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Another milestone landing on HMS Queen Elizabeth

November 19, 2018 – For the first time a jet has landed backwards on Britain’s new aircraft carrier as HMS Queen Elizabeth and her F-35 Lightnings pass another milestone. RAF test pilot Squadron Leader Andy Edgell flew his specially-adapted stealth fighter facing the stern, not bow, before bringing the jet to a hover, slipping it over the huge flight deck and gently setting it down. The ‘back-to-front’ maneuver, described as “like driving the wrong way down a one-way street” is intended to give pilots and the flight deck team more…

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UK to double F-35 fleet with 17-jet order

November 15, 2018 – The UK is set to double its number of world-beating F-35 stealth jets after ordering 17 more aircraft, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced. The 17 new F-35B aircraft will be delivered between 2020 and 2022 and will complement the 16 British aircraft currently based at RAF Marham and in the US, as well as two additional aircraft which are already on order. Overall, the UK has committed to procure 138 aircraft over the life of the programme. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said, “I am delighted…

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First test bombs dropped from HMS Queen Elizabeth’s F-35s

October 18, 2018 – The first bombs have been dropped from F-35 Lightning fighter jets conducting trials on board Britain’s newest aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. The inert GBU-12 Paveway II laser guided precision bombs were dropped off the east coast of the USA, marking another significant milestone in the carrier’s trials. Adding the 500lb bombs to the jets for take-off has enabled the trials teams to see how the jets behave when carrying various weights, gathering crucial test data. It is the first time the American-made bombs have ever…

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