ITF team readies for Italian carrier sea trials

Marine test pilot Maj. Dylan Nicholas, Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, conducts day-into-night training in an F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) variant aircraft from the F-35 Patuxent River Integrated Test Force (ITF) at NAS Patuxent River, Jan. 27. These workup testing and training flights are integral to preparing pilots for the ITF test team’s detachment to the Italian Navy aircraft carrier ITS Cavour (CVH-550) scheduled between February and March. During carrier-based flight test, also known as sea trials, ITF members with engineering and test pilot expertise will gather data that will verify compatibility between the 5th generation fighter aircraft and the Italian naval fleet’s flagship. This information will contribute to certifying the ship for the Italian Navy’s operation of its own F-35Bs, the key weapon system of the carrier.

ITF team readies for Italian carrier sea trials